Blogpost: Real Bodies Exhibition @ Byron Hall

Posted by T • April 23, 2018

Posted by T • April 23, 2018

Real Bodies Exhibition

Byron Hall

Sydney, Australia

April 22, 2018

I bumped into Gunter von Hagens with his dog Bella, the pioneer of the technique of plastination that forms the basis of the Real Bodies Exhibition, in early 2012 on the top of the Emipre State Building in New York City of all places. An affable polite and soft-spoken chap - the man that impregnated corpses with plastic solution so individual body parts could be dissembled and put on show had earned himself the moniker of “Dr Death” and his endeavors, i.e. to make what was previously the realm of mortuaries and medical museums, have never been not uncontroversial – au contraire.

His exhibitions, which he sees following his primary goal of preventive healthcare, became a worldwide phenomenon that effectively had an impact on the perception of the dead with millions of visitors.

While press coverage implied something sinister and macabre, the exhibitions themselves exhibit immaculately prepared bodies that offered a view on the inner workings of humans.

A view made possible by removing all the fat and water out of the tissue and replacing it with a plastic polymer, whether that is a silicone, polyester resins or epoxy resins, i.e. plastination.

The Real Bodies exhibition follows von Hagens’ lead with the focus being on plastinated mortal remains.

The exhibition offers the opportunity to explore ten galleries of anatomical artifacts and twenty human plastinates alongside a bit of philosophy re: what it means to be homo sapiens aimed at aiding to explain how humans breathe, eat, think, grow more humans and ultimately die by displaying human cadavers in various forms of dissection to show respiratory, circulatory, digestive and reproductive functions of the body.

Controversy in the context of the Real Bodies exhibition evolved because questions were raised about the provenance of the bodies and if they belonged to Falun Gong prisoners and “body factories” in China, which motivated protesters gathering outside the exhibition to alert visitors, which illustrate the interdependencies between respiratory and circulatory systems, muscles, bone and skin.

The CEO of Imagine Exhibitions, the operators behind Real Bodies, deny any foul play and insist that the bodies were donated, however, there seem to be gaps when it comes to meticulous authentification of the sources, which leaves a bit of a bitter aftertaste.

An interesting exhibition that does not lack an artistic approach yet is mainly focused on education without unnecessary theatrics.

---

Photo from Real Bodies Exhibition official website

T • April 23, 2018

More recent blogposts

Search/Play/Repeat - July 2021

Posted by Loren • July 31, 2021

We cover a lot at Scene Point Blank. It's part of the job, but first and foremost we're music fans. While we talk a lot of new releases in the news/reviews/interviews, music is timeless and we need a way to share it. Plus, I just love a good mixtape and want to share stuff. While Aaron typically covers Search/Play/Repeat and … Read more

Thus Let Us Drink Beer – 7th Day and Shedshaker

Posted by T • July 31, 2021

Thus Let Us Drink Beer – 7th Day Brewing and Shedshaker   The story of 7th Day Brewing is one that could not be more DIY in nature as it all goes back to founder Mike Beresford Jones trying his hand in homebrewing in a bid to create the kind of brews he could not find anywhere, the fruits of … Read more

The Formative Years - Rich Kids on LSD

Posted by T • July 31, 2021

The Formative Years - Rich Kids on LSD When I first got a hold of Burkhard Jaerisch’s Flex US Hardcore Discography long before the advent of the internet, I not only devoured it but set out to get my paws on all records that were deemed worthy of a 10 / 10 rating.  While I did not necessarily agree with … Read more

Reckless Brewing and Moo Brew’s Gin Boilermaker

Posted by T • July 29, 2021

Thus Let Us Drink Beer – Reckless Brewing and Moo Brew’s Gin Boilermaker   Having honed and refined channelling her alchemy in the creation of craft beers, the quality of which has left an indelible mark on the firmament of Australian craft brews, Reckless Brewing’s co-founder Grace has and continue to contribute to shaping the DNA of one of the … Read more

Beethoven and Wagner vs Nietzsche

Posted by T • July 26, 2021

Beethoven: A life University of California Press   There is no shortage of books dedicated to the life of a composer whose legacy has never ceased to reverberate and impact music at large. Released to commemorate the two hundred fiftieth anniversary of his birth, what sets this biography apart in terms of authority is partly due to the unprecedented access … Read more

Water of Life – Limeburners and Earp Distillery

Posted by T • July 25, 2021

Water of Life – Limeburners and Earp Distillery   Over the last ten years, Australia has firmly established itself on the map of nations that produce quality malt whiskies. Slowly but steadily, rye whiskies created on terra australis have been making a splash on the scene with quite a few distilleries crafting their own incarnations of American style rye whiskey. … Read more

The Formative Years – Rugby and Canterbury

Posted by T • July 24, 2021

The Formative Years – Rugby and Canterbury I’ve covered the mecca that Washington DC proved to be as a hotbed for hardcore and punk as part of this series before, however, missed to shed light onto one of my favourite releases from the 1980s era, i.e. the vitally important split LP of the short-lived bands The Faith and Void.  While … Read more

The Formative Years – Hardcore Classics, pt. 1

Posted by T • July 23, 2021

The Formative Years – Hardcore classics pt. 1   With ZAP magazine playing a pivotal role in promoting and covering everything New York Hardcore related in a pro-active and prominent manner, Europe and specifically Germany have always been prime markets for hardcore emanating from the Big Apple.  The result was that “NYHC” became a veritable label and trademark and almost … Read more

The Formative Years - Ebullition Records

Posted by T • July 22, 2021

The Formative Years - Ebullition Records  The first time I heard about Ebullition Records was when there was talk around the campfire of that a gentleman that was known to me as a Maximum Rock’n’roll / No Answer zine contributor, i.e. Kent McClard, was planning to release a full length of one of my favourite bands from Orange County, California, … Read more

Thus Let Us Drink Beer - Holgate and Six String

Posted by T • July 18, 2021

Thus Let Us Drink Beer - Holgate Brewhouse and Six String Brewing   As we have outlined with our previous coverage of Holgate Brewhouse, over the last twenty years the Victorian brewery has established itself firmly on the forefront of innovative quality producers of ales that honour both the classic styles from the old world and the ever expanding and … Read more