Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Sunday inspiration gladly paid for on a Tuesday

Sunday Inspiration is brought to you by Gunther von Hagen. Well I am back from my long weekend journey to the netherworld of Toronto. I stand atop a stele where the dead emerge to reveal the secrets of humanity. Of course, I talk about Bodyworlds, a travelling exhibit where science/art surgically display the mysteries of our mortal coil. Von Hagan uses a 'plastination' process whereby he injects the cadavre with a synthetic material, i.e. epoxy resin, rubber or polyester, that replaces the bodies water which then preserves everything intact. This preservation can even get down to the smallest capilleries to show the entire circulatory system or nervous system. The bodies are often posed in 'action' or mimic a historic work of art and reveal the different layers (like the image above). Von Hagan pushes the boundary between art and science to the extreme and whether you agree or not with these sculpures of the once living, they certainly educate the layman and appeal to our curiousities of the inner workings of the machine of flesh and blood. I will admit that I felt like I was in some Barnum museum but instead of being fooled by some stitched together 'Mermaid Lady' I found myself in awe of the real complex systems of the human body. You can't take any pictures but as I found out too late you are allowed to draw!!

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