Thursday, November 10, 2011

Bodies Exhibit; What's Wrong With Sculpture?

A few weeks ago my sister came into town, and she wanted to see Carrot Top.  I told her I'd go see him if she went to the Bodies Exhibit with me.

As it turns out, Carrot Top was out of town while she was here, so it was just the Bodies Exhibit. She had been before and didn't really want to go because it "freaked her out," but she bit the bullet for me.

I have to say, I was a little apprehensive myself. On one hand, seeing the bodies would be a once in a lifetime crazy opportunity that I really shouldn't pass up.  On the other have to wonder how these people died, how their bodies were obtained for this exhibit, and above all how did they get them to stay in these crazy positions?

As to why they don't use life-like models, this comes from their website;

As Dr. Roy Glover, chief medical director for BODIES … The Exhibition states, “Seeing promotes understanding, and understanding promotes the most practical kind of body education possible. The body doesn’t lie!” Unlike models that idealize the body through the eyes of an artist, the specimens in this Exhibition will show the body and its parts as they really exist.

A fair point I suppose, artists will always do something different for their art.  However, I had to think of it as art to be able to get through the exhibit without gagging.  Much like you just don't think about what hot dogs and sushi actual are while eating them, it was the same for this exhibit.  I had to go through thinking they were models to be able to not freak out. 

As it turns out the bodies are died from natural causes from China, and were donated to science.  I couldn't stop thinking about how this body in front of me had a mother and father and family at one time, and now they are on display, naked, pieces stripped away to educate the public.

Even though I'm glad to be educated, I feel like this is something that only med students should be seeing, it shouldn't be something that is touring the country like a carnival.

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