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Post #637 • October 3, 2005, 11:34 AM • 14 Comments
The problem with this is not the prudery of Floridians. The problem is that we have no proof that the bodies are not those of prisoners, or worse, executed prisoners.
If the bodies were given freely by the previous inhabitants ("The bodies are given to [Dr. Hong-Jin Sui of Dalian University] when local authorities cannot find next-of-kin, according to the show's organizers," claims the article), I approve. I love this stuff. I can't wait to see it. Guess who owns ArtAnatomy.com? Yep. Future home of my anatomy book. I teach an anatomy class at school, and I'm fond of noting this quote from Leonardo, that without knowledge of anatomy, artists make figure drawings that, well:
...you would think you were looking at a sack of walnuts rather than the human form, or a bundle of radishes rather than the muscles of figures.
My school just did a field trip to the museum while I was in Montreal, I believe. A gruesome business? No doubt. But consider this description, taken from the same book that I have on Albinus:
His vivid evocation of the effect on the senses is confirmed by Albinus, who gives a graphic account of the difficulties encountered in early anatomical documentation, in his introduction to the Table of the Skeleton And Muscles of the Human Body, 1749. Albinus describes hanging a skeleton complete with ligaments and 'cartilaginous crusts of the joints' still attached, using an elaborate system of ropes suspended from the ceiling. He also mentions that the drawings from this subject took up to three months to complete, causing problems with drying and with putrefaction. To re-hydrate the cadaver Albinus resorted to cutting the ligaments in order to pour water into the joints; to check putrefaction he sprinkled the cadaver with vinegar, and 'wrapped it in the night time with paper, and cloths dipped in the same liquor'. He was relieved when a hard frost occurred: 'the best thing that could happen', but hindered by the artist's model who, posing naked, unsurprisingly 'neither could nor would' stand in the same room without a fire.
All in the name of art. Is the exhibit art? No, it's an elaborate natural history display. Is it moral? Probably not. Am I going? Aw yeah.
At a distance, the work of Gunther von Hagens seems even more impressive. (Check the images. Sort of like Dr. Frankenstein meets Joseph Beuys.)
October 3, 2005, 1:14 PM
Probably. I'm still going to go.
October 4, 2005, 7:27 AM
Leonardo or not, Interest in anatomy or not....my problem has to do with the evil empire called china.
Those poor cadavers are most likely deceased political prisoners, Tibetans, or Pro Democracy students killed at Tianimen Square....
Finally they are being put to good use, serving the revolution, while appealing to your gross desire to see a disembowled person kicking a soccer ball.
Stay home and draw a a bowl of fruit.
Don't believe anything they say about "no next of kin" They killed them too!
china is evil china is evilchina is evil china is evil china is evil china is evil china is evil china is evil china is evil china is evil china is evil china is evil
October 4, 2005, 8:44 AM
Comment spam. An ugly, pathetic attempt at marketing, annoying to everyone involved. I'm "Simon," and Franklin has altered this post to let everyone know that I have extremely small generative apparatus. That's why I'm getting lost and never coming back here.
October 4, 2005, 10:16 AM
You know, it took me a while to realize that comments like Simon's above actually were edited and posted by Franklin. For a while I thought there were weirdos out there who were writing idiotic things like "I am a comment spammer"; I thought it was a self-esteem issue.
Yeah, I've been getting alot of odd comments in moderation which seem to be some type of combination of robot and human which have about four links to one or two blogs. I think people are trying to play with the technorati ratings or something. "A pathetic attempt at marketing" indeed!
October 4, 2005, 11:06 AM
Well, they're posted by the spammer, but edited, and ruthlessly de-linked, by me. Sadly, we can't kill them, plasticize their bodies, and arrange them in dramatic poses for the edification and titillation of the public.
The problem originated with Google, which awards site ranking by numbers of incoming links. To raise their rankings, people write bots and hire real humans to go around leaving hundreds of links in comment threads on blogs. (There are also blogs that consist of nothing except outgoing links. Go to Blogger, click whatever blog comes up as recently updated, click "Next Blog" in the upper right corner a half-dozen times, and you'll see one.) This is why comments close after two weeks around here, and may drop to one.
October 4, 2005, 1:49 PM
With Wordpress, I simply set the number of allowable links in the comments to ### (a secret number), and wordpressto! They get booted into moderation. But my site certainly does not have the attractive internet profile (or history!) that artblog does.
I think that exhibit already has a plasticized former entity seated at the keyboard; you can project your frustrations onto that one.
So, you didn't bring up the plasticized fetus that was stolen from the show . . . that happens to creep me out quite a bit.
October 4, 2005, 1:53 PM
I didn't know about the stolen fetus. You have a link?
October 4, 2005, 2:25 PM
October 4, 2005, 2:28 PM
Oh, and here is the Body Worlds website:
October 4, 2005, 2:35 PM
Okay, that was stolen out of a different show, in LA. I linked to Body Worlds from "Gunther von Hagens" above. These are the guys that are suing the guys in Tampa.
There's a gross but funny joke in here somewhere.
October 4, 2005, 3:16 PM
OK, you asked for it. I am now going to get REVENGE for this grossout post. Read this joke if you dare:
Q: How do you get 1000 dead plasticized bodies into a very small museum?
A: Use a blender
Q: when the show is over, how do you get them out?
October 4, 2005, 3:20 PM
See, I told you. We just needed the right evil genius to come along.
October 4, 2005, 3:28 PM
Evil genius, eh, Holmes?
I'll meet you next week at the scenic Reichenbach Falls.
October 3, 2005, 12:31 PM
Franklin, I think you are conflating Leonardoesque study of anatomy with the basest kind of low-level sensationalist trash activity.
It doesn't mesh. Sorry.