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Exhibition Gunther von Hagen's - Body Worlds

Gunther von Hagen's
Atlantis Gallery, Old Truman Brewery - Body Worlds
extended to 9th Feb 2003

Dead 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 internal organs.
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...

Atlantis Gallery
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 31/01/2002

Gunther von Hagen's at Atlantis Gallery, Old Truman Brewery
Review by Danielle Horn 31/01/2002

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