Monday, March 19, 2007

Cr@zy Bodies

My friend Liz over at SB.com turned me onto this fascination...

Body Worlds

This is a study of human anatomy that is being conducted and its results displayed to the public by a German anatomist, Gunther von Hagens. He is also the creator of the "plastination" technology used on these specimens, which is the implementation of reactive polymers to preserve living tissue. With plastination, von Hagens has been able to "freeze frame" moments in time with an eerie reality - statues of people with their skins removed, exposing muscle tissues and vital organs - with all the benefits of hands-on health education.

Which is exactly what Dr. von Hagens hopes to accomplish with his seemingly morbid displays. He has spent many years modeling and forming actual human skeletons and tissues to provide real-life models of these things which most people would never get to observe otherwise in the first-person. Not to worry, though, everyone at his parties is legit - all of his display specimens have been consensually donated by their former owners prior to their death. Not to say that Dr. von Hagens has not used the corpses of inmates and other derelicts in his laboratory practices; only that his public work reflects those who gave their bodies to science after death to further be able to fully serve society.

You can see a teen performing a skateboard trick, a man carrying his own skin, a pregnant woman with 8-month fetus, people in various sporting positions (like soccer, basketball, archer, etc.) and even a few artful reflections in the man on horseback, winged man, the chess player, or the prayer with his heart in his hands. In conjunction with the statues, there are also many other glass-cased displays containing smaller focuses.

There are currently three travelling collections of Body Worlds touring the U.S. More information is available on the Body Worlds website - www.bodyworlds.com