Body Worlds 4 Exhibition

WBP_Guitarrist_02Yesterday I went along – with some trepidation – to the special exhibition running at the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry. Dubbed ‘The Original Exhibition of Real Human Bodies’, it’s a fascinating revelation of human and animal anatomy.

The rather creepy looking Dr Gunther von Hagens has developed a way to embalm real corpses using plastic. Except they don’t look like corpses when he has finished posing them. Some are playing sport or even a game of poker. One tableau has a female cadaver lying on a slab. Leaning over her with her heart in his hand is a pathologist equally stripped of skin and fat to reveal his musculature and skeleton. The subtext here of course is that we are all mortal. Not even the doctor could cheat death.

However, this enlightening exhibition isn’t macabre. Despite the fact that we are examining the bodies of people who once walked the earth just like us, they are placed in everyday contexts. By this mechanism we are invited to focus more on the marvellous complexity of our muscles, circulation, nervous system and all the other components which keep us alive.

The exhibition is open daily until 29 June. Catch it if you can.

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