Body Worlds 4

Body Worlds 4Body Worlds 4

Well, that was fortunate to say the least…

Today was the first day off work I’d had in quite a while. I went off to Manchester on the train, just to walk around, take a few pictures, a bit of culture, a wander around the shops and a look around the Apple store.

I’d decided, beforehand, to try to see places I hadn’t seen but of course I didn’t have any real plan or route to take. I went from the tram station under Piccadilly towards, what was UMIST (I don’t know if it’s still called that) and off in the direction of Oxford Road. Behind the Palace theatre I noticed a woman steering a canal boat. That can only mean one thing… a canal.

Now, I must have walked up Oxford Road hundreds of times but never ventured onto the canal. Once you start walking on the path you do see parts of the city that you wouldn’t usually see. It’s a bit grim to be honest. The canal is a muddy hot chocolate kind of colour and there is a great deal of litter floating in it, especially around the locks. I took a few pictures, yet to be developed, and quite enjoyed myself. I found out that German industrialists Einst├╝rzende Neubauten were banned from The Ha├žienda for drilling into parts of the building.

I left the canal in Castlefield started to stroll back towards the centre of the city. Walking nearer the Museum of Science & Industry I saw the signs for Body Worlds 4, so off I went, I couldn’t get the money out of my wallet quick enough.

At the time of the first Body Worlds exhibition I remember there being a media storm about the ethics of the exhibits. How times have changed.

I had seen some of the pieces before, if you’ve seen one skinned cadaver you’ve seen them all. But from the photographs and the clips on TV you don’t appreciate how detailed they are. You just marvel at how each body is preserved like that, how they’re posed and how they’re transported from country to country. It would seem that transporting them must take it’s toll as most of the exhibits were only created recently, a large proportion just last year.

Gunther von Hagens says that the exhibition gives people a greater understanding of human anatomy, I don’t really agree. The exhibits that I enjoyed the most were the ones in the glass cabinets, the smokers lungs, hearts and brains. Of the main pieces the one of the man who had a fused spine that had given him a hunched back was the most interesting. The guitar player, the swimmer, the footballers, the card players and the gorilla (am I spoiling this for you?) were all interesting but, for me, only from a logistics point of view. Do I tend to over analyse things… yes. And that was when it changed from being educational to being art. I mean what is the difference between Gunther von Hagens and Damien Hirst? There is certainly a cross over between the work of these two men.

I certainly enjoyed it, it’s only on until 29th June so see it before it’s too late. A fun day out for the whole family and wonderful venue for that tricky first date.

Related Links
Gunther von Hagens' Body Worlds - The Original Exhibition of Real Human Bodies
The Body Worlds Exhibition Gallery -

  • Posted on Wednesday, 11 June 2008
  • Tagged with culture