Anatomy Art
A fascinating gallery...

It's not really that new as it already started in February 2001. Long awaited by some, cursed by others this exhibition gives an incredible insight into human anatomy as well as the horrific effects of diseases such as cancer or malformations of any kind. Is it merely bad taste to display human bodies in partly grotesque positions with muscles, nerves, sinews and internal organs lying open? Or to introduce you to a reclining woman in the eighth month of pregnancy, her uterus opened so the foetus can be seen? Or to show the devastating effects of heavy smoking or drinking by displaying seriously damaged organs? I observed the people visiting the exhibition and I had the feeling that many people were shocked to be confronted with the "naked" truth, literally stripped to the bones. Still they all gather there, everybody wants to see this although they may feel uneasy about it.
Why? Why is it a taboo to display anything about the HUMAN body? Is it the confrontation with the short span of time we exist? Reverence for the dead is an essential virtue in every culture. Does that ­ nowadays, in our Western civilization ­ mean, that a dead body belongs to the earth or to the flames, or whatever is necessary to get it OUT OF SIGHT? We study the earth and the animals. The animals, or should we rather say all OTHER animals? (This is yet another aspect but as I would be in danger of getting lost in thoughts...) Why can't we study ourselves as well? Scientists and pathologists have been doing that for centuries, but please stay hidden, don't show it to the public world? So what are we actually afraid of?

Yes, this exhibition confronts you with your inner self, and it makes you aware of your own vulnerability. The artist Prof. Gunther von Hagens, M.D., also states that the displayed specimens are for anyone willing to subject himself to this experience, visual and above all psychic bridges to our own physicality. In his opinion, plastinations should be made publicly accessible. Man can encounter himself as a remnant of nature surviving in his artificial surroundings. And I can only agree with him. Do not turn away in dismay at the sight of the displayed bodies. Face up to this experience and regain your composure, and you will surely be overcome by some sort of fascination toward these exhibits that have been brought to a condition somewhere between death and decomposition. And keep in mind the courage of those, who were willing to forgo burial or cremation of their corpses in order to serve educational purposes. Without them this would have never been possible!

The exhibition can be seen in Hamburg at the Erotic Art Museum-Nobistor from August 30th, 2003 until January 4th, 2004. If you go to Hamburg, DO NOT miss it. BTW, if you go there until November 30th, 2003, adults will pay 9 instead of 12 Euro ON MONDAYS.

The pictures were taken from the catalogue on the exhibition. Copyright: Institute for Plastination, Heidelberg.