Atlantis Gallery, Old Truman Brewery - Body Worlds
to 9th Feb 2003
bodies is the theme of Gunther von Hagen's new show Body Worlds at Atlantis
Gallery, Old Truman Brewery until September the 29th.
Not an appealing subject in the least... Van Haguen is the anatomist who
discovered plastination, a method for preserving corpses by removing water
from the cells and replacing it with plastic. This prevents decay but
also preserves the body's colour and texture. The resulting dummies can
be bent and positioned into shape.
The question is "is all this really ethical?" or is it ethical
in the name of art. The idea of a flayed man standing with his skin draped
over one arm seems repellent... another example is one of his artworks
playing chess or riding a skinless horse.
Most of these specimens have been dissected and therefore lose the envelope
that makes them look real. The skin looks more like dried meat and you
quickly forget that these are dead bodies. They seem more like inanimated
dummies. This split from reality enables you to look at these "art
works" with a scientific eye, concentrating on what the human body
really looks like underneath its surface. An anatomy lesson starting from
the skeleton and proceeding to the muscles, brain, nervous system and
When looking at these specimens you must remember that this kind of shocking
art has been around for some time now. (Sensation exhibition at the Royal
Gallery in 1997 with Damien Hurst etc) So much so that one might think
that this disturbing repetitive trend is only in an art gallery and called
art because it is made shocking...
extended to 9th Feb 2003
23nd March, 02 - 9th February, 03
The Old Truman Brewery ·
146 Brick Lane London
E1 6QL ·
daily 9 to 9 (last admission)
Infos: 020 - 7053 0000
Review by Danielle Horn