Skinless wonders...
May 20, 2001 5:55 AM   Subscribe

Skinless wonders... "Art or anatomy? An exhibition of flayed corpses in Berlin has been greeted with popular acclaim and moral indignation." They plastinate ("a vacuum process in which biological specimens are impregnated with a reactive polymer") and pose the bodies, which they get from various places, including a Siberian madhouse. The show is coming to Britain.
posted by pracowity (11 comments total)
"ars longa, vita brevis"
posted by billybob at 9:06 AM on May 20, 2001

i remember reading this on Wired (magazine) a few months ago. there were pictures too (sorry: i don't have the issue at hand). it reminds me a bit of the freak shows at the beginning of the century, à la elephant man, where people were drawn to monstrousities, especially if applied to human beings.
there is undoubtedly a scientific side to such shows, but the rumor far overwhelmes the anatomical interest.
i'm waiting for the chopped horse of The Cell to show at some art museum...
posted by pecus at 9:26 AM on May 20, 2001

This was posted here a couple months back. Strangely enough, I spent some time searching for that particular thread just a couple days ago and couldn't come up with it. Can anyone point to the original thread?
posted by amanda at 10:01 AM on May 20, 2001

amanda, here is the old thread.
posted by andre at 10:33 AM on May 20, 2001

Uh, pecus -- you do realize that the horse was a rip-off of Damien Hirst's cut up cows? Shown, rather notoriously, in the Sensation exhibit at London's Tate and the Brooklyn Museum of Art.
posted by dhartung at 11:31 AM on May 20, 2001

One of the pictures on the old thread depicts some buddhists peering at a flayed man, and it brought to mind the training exercise of a novice monk to spend a night alone with a corpse. Lots of religions practice this sort of body-watching, usually giving the caretaker a prayerbook to keep them busy. There's a great book by Bruce Wagner (I'M LOSING YOU, also rentable as the not-so-great film that he directed) that goes into specifics of washing and preparing the dead for burial. I'm no necrophile, but I wouldn't shy away from getting close to a non-bloody corpse.
posted by Domain Master 666 at 2:47 PM on May 20, 2001

Oh -no-, please! I love all forms of art and this will be great in London, but there's one group who will ruin things.

It's the group that writes into the newspapers claiming it's a 'waste of money' and 'disgusting'. Or, even better, the pathetic people who say 'Art is what Leonardo da Vinci made, not anything nowadays!'.

We get a lot of this in UK papers. I'd imagine it's even worse in the US though with the amount of closed minded people out in the sticks. Down with people who criticise art and don't even know anything about it :-)
posted by wackybrit at 8:07 PM on May 20, 2001

Art is, however, only one letter removed from fart.
posted by sonofsamiam at 10:17 PM on May 20, 2001

> This was posted here a couple months back.

Damn. I looked. I didn't find it.

> there's one group who will ruin things. ... it's a 'waste of
> money' and 'disgusting'

Disgusting is a fair comment, as long as they don't mean it's too disgusting and must be stopped. But I agree, I hate when people allow that government money is good for all sorts of stupid things -- subsidies to dumb farmers trying to grow rice in the desert and so on -- but scream that no money should ever be devoted to art. Mainly, it's because...

> Or, even better, the pathetic people who say 'Art is
> what Leonardo da Vinci made, not anything nowadays!'

... they're 'I hate modern art' proclaimers. He's the sort who doesn't like any kind of art, but he doesn't think he can get away with admitting it, so he says he doesn't like that modern stuff. ('I could do that!') If you drag him to a museum, he'll kill time by looking at a little representational art as long as it reminds him of his vacation snaps, but he's always thinking about what he's missing on television.
posted by pracowity at 11:32 PM on May 20, 2001

Here's a link to online images of some of the pieces in the exhibit. It's rather fascinating stuff. Some of the images do seem to push the bounds of taste, but all is fair in the interest of science and art...
posted by pixelbaby at 9:11 AM on May 21, 2001

Thank you Pixelbaby! I was gonna come here and simply lament that this oddity was unavailable for viewing on the net (just to satisfy my 2 minute attention span of curiosity) but here you have solved my problem. Bravo.

(looks at pictures)

Meh. Now Im done
posted by Azaroth at 10:12 PM on May 21, 2001

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