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Human Cadavers as Art

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The long awaited and often-protested against, Gunther von Hagens exhibition “Body Worlds: The Anatomical Exhibition of Real Human Bodies” finally makes its U.S. debut in Los Angeles as part of a notorious world tour that started in 1996. The exhibition is at the California Science Center.

Initially intended to teach people about the human skeletal, cardiovascular and other systems, the exhibit includes 25 bodies that have undergone a process called “plastination” in which body fluids are replaced with clear, pliable plastic. It has become an art show, rather than just a science show and somehow pushed aside the YBAs less horrific attempts to do the same with animals.

According to this article, during exhibit stops in Asia and Europe, about 6,000 people have signed papers donating their bodies to von Hagens’ institute for possible plastination.

This exhibit is now pushing figurative art even further. Just when one thinks that representational art cannot be coaxed into producing anything “new.”

And as we all know, “new” is what often seduces art critics into auto-thinking “good.”

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About Lenny Campello

  • Shark

    mmm… now let’s head for the Museum “Restaurant” for a salad and a $5 latte!

    Those wacky Europeans!

    Their typical contributions to contemporary art are guys cutting their dicks off and painting with them — or dead animals floating in formaldehyde.

    Makes ya wanna vomit and head for the nearest Bougereau painting.

    PS: “Post-Post Modern” means we’ve lost the inability to be shocked. Hopefully, “Post-Post-Post Modern” will mean we’ve killed all the contemporary artists, blinded ourselves with a hot poker, and outlawed any art that requires rubber gloves, a butcher on site, or a “Food Handler’s” Permit.


  • Shark

    Whoops! Make that:

    “Post-Post Modern” means we’ve lost the ABILITY to be shocked.

    Aw, you get the picture, don’t cha?

  • it was making quite a bit of money when it came to Singapore, and ran for an extended period because of the popularity. i guess people just want to be shocked, or test the limits of how shocked they can be. “post-post modern”? that’s a great one. 🙂

  • thao

    I actually thought the exhibit was pretty intereting. I am a high school student and i went to the “bodies the exhibition” as a field trip. I found that everything there was something new and very educational.