Today I decided to get a life and booked a couple of tickets for The Human Body Exhibition. While it’s not a common place to spend Valentine’s Day with your boyfriend, it certainly gives the two of you something to talk about.
Real human beings, cast and preserved for educational purposes, are the stars of this exhibition. You see this immediately when you enter the first dimly lit room: a man stripped of his skin, mid-stride, athletic – strangely alive.
According to one assistant, the bodies come from China, where cadavers, unclaimed, are surrendered to science under Chinese law. The chemical process these cadavers go through went a little over my head, I’ll admit (filling veins and arteries with plaster then dissolving the tissue in chemicals; taking up to a year to chemically preserve a body that will last for decades; etc.), though it made me sad how people could become this way because no one had come to claim them.
Interestingly enough, most exhibits were male, with only one female, and a section contained some foetal specimens, which you could avoid by turning left if that kind of thing upset you. Not ones to get upset, we explored the whole exhibition, reading the little plaques and staring at the intimate portraits whilst barely saying a word. About halfway, I turned to my boyfriend and confessed how strange the exhibition felt. ‘It makes me hungry,’ I said, with no shame whatsoever; the sight of glistening muscle can make you feel that way near lunch-time.
All in all, “The Human Body Exhibition” is worth a glimpse. Can’t say it lasted very long (it was over in an hour), but it’s the right length of time to pay your respects to a group of anonymous people who may or may not deserve being displayed to the public.
x x Happy Valentine’s Day! x x