Friday, April 21, 2006


I haven't seen this yet but would be interested to hear from anyone who has. Whole bodies and individual organs preserved and 'respectfully displayed' (I quote). It's on at Earls Court until 31st May. For further information click here.


Giskin said...

I am currently in South Africa so feeling a bit out of touch. Is this Gunther van Haagens again or some other outfit using his technique? There has been some coverage here of the exhibition in the SA press, when they take a break from relating in salacious detail the rape trial of the former vice president (who claimed to have taken 'precautions' against contracting HIV by taking a shower!). The press here have focused on the use of unclaimed Chinese bodies for the exhibition. I saw Bodyworlds some years ago when it came to London and it was unforgettable. I experienced a mixture of distaste and fascination that is hard to describe.

Ghost Writer said...

Different outfit this time Giskin. On the exhibiton website they dissociate themselves from Gunther van Haagens. I didn't see Bodyworlds but I'm sure a mix of distaste and fanscination is exactly right.

S said...

I'm chuffed to see the general public being given a chance to see the body with the detail normally reserved for a select few.

Slightly disgusted that informed consent wasn't given for this exhibition, hence my reluctance to go and see it. Gunther VH did get consent for his.

Incidentally, what did everyone make of the 'autopsies' on TV last year?

aj said...

We previously discussed Bodyworlds and Anatomy for Beginners back in January last year, you can read the comments here:

MW said...

I've been! All it says about the bodies (after the big 'we are not that van Haagens person' bits) was that they were 'legally obtained'. Make of that what you will. Noted that they were all quite short; also involvement of Dalian Medical University leads to assunmption they were all Chinese? Which adds a whole new dimension to 'legally obtained'. I hadn't really thought about this when I saw it; I must admit that I'd assumed informed consent.

Leaving aside that ethical issue I (as a non-medic) found it uttely fascinating. I honestly had never realised that your liver was so huge, or your kidneys so high in the abdomen. Or indeed that while the male repoductive organs are risible when wrapped in flesh, they're downright weird when unwrapped.

They had plastinated organs to handle - kidney, liver, brain, muscle. Very strange - rather waxy in texture.