Went to see BodyWorlds last weekend at Science World.
The ribs appeared as sliced turkey adhered to bone.
Lungs black, steel white or thinly sliced
tar flecs a sisxteenth of an inch thick visible to the naked eye.
This plastination of human origin indeed were so,
these maniquins but a small fanciful taste
to this mid-autumn’s delusion.
Bound in glass were creatures rarer still
we peared, enchanted
a coloquial stew
of veins transcendent of colour perceived in this reality;
not of red, nor magenta or blood.
gaze of gawkers,
this stew has form
a lamb â€“
a baby lamb.
I couldn’t believe my eyes; that, this was real. This lamb had once been a lamb alive. The turkey was attached to human male and/or female ribcages. The lungs were bodiless. Ethereal they lay there, as though granite polished to a matte, as not to relfect their history but share it – breaths still alive, escaped wispers into humankind. These corpse’s/maniquins were once breathing. They had soul, they had history. I saw their physical history. I even held one of our own livers in my hand. A human liver. It was no different than holding a smaller but similar looking turkey liver from Christmas Dinners past. We are meat. This wasn’t meat though. It was meat.
A full floor of the VAG (Vancouver Art Gallery) would have served this exhibit well. Even a quarter of a floor space would have been more adequate at displaying this vast collection of plasticized humans and other mammals.
Upon arrival home, I set about defrosting pork chops, that oddly appear as one display of human leg cross-section from Body-works. I got the heebie-geebies. The willies. The @#$%^. I felt bodiless for a moment or two. Eric walked over, looked down in the frying pan.
Gunther von Hagens’ BODY WORLDS exhibitions are currently showing in North America. “The human body is the last remaining nature in a man made environment,” he says. “I hope for the exhibitions to be places of enlightenment and contemplation, even of philosophical and religious self recognition, and open to interpretation regardless of the background and philosophy of life of the viewer.”
It’s times like these that I want to reach a higher state of understanding the world around me. I think to the future about what will be? I think about Charlton Heston in Soylent Green. Green reconstituted rectangular pieces of human beings. You know what got me most was the 30 feet of human intestine layed flat filled with air and coloured, framed, glassed over and nailed to the black painted wall. 30 feet. I couldn’t help staring at the length I do not own anymore. 11 inches of illeum belongs to the earth again from me. It was weird to see what an illeum really looks like.
There is another organization one can donate one’s remains to, for plastination.
Third photo entitled Just the Veins from Justin’s Photostream. We are more than just talking heads – We are meat.