Thursday, November 10, 2016

Russ Cope writes


Members of the same
We flaunt, we fawn, we
put forward our best mask.
The one we think is most
fitting the moment.
The one our grandmother
gave us.
After all, granny can’t be
There is one thing I have
learned about this
and it is that we are, at
root, disappointing creatures,
distracted by shiny objects.

 ผลการค้นหารูปภาพสำหรับ human body exhibit
 Sagittal 3-D Slice Body -- Gunther von Hagens


  1. Gunther von Hagens is a contoversial German anatomist. When appearing in public, even when performing anatomical dissections, he always wears a black fedora in homage to the hat worn in embrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn's 1632 painting "The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp." In his own words, "The anatomist alone is assigned a specific role -- he is forced in his daily work to reject the taboos and convictions that people have about death and the dead. I myself am not controversial, but my exhibitions are, because I am asking viewers to transcend their fundamental beliefs and convictions about our joint and inescapable fate." Five days after Gunther Liebchen was born in Nazi-occupied Reichsgau Wartheland, in central Poland, his parents put him in a laundry basket and fled westward by wagon to escape the liberating Russian army's advance. Six months later they reached East Germany. At six he nearly died from a rare bleeding disorder and spent months in intensive care, an incident which ignited in him an interest in becoming a physician. At 20 he entered the University of Jena medical school and participated in student protests against the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, then illegally tried to enter Czechoslovakia the following year but was arrested, extradited to East Germany, and imprisoned for two years. After two years the West German government paid $20,000 for his release,and he enrolled at the University of Lubeck to complete his medical studies. In 1975 he received a doctorate from the University of Heidelberg, married Dr. Cornelia von Hagen and adopted her surname (due to the nobiliary particle), and took up residency at the university's Institutes of Pathology and Anatomy.

  2. Two years later he invented plastination, a process for preserving cadavers. For 20 years the process was used to preserve small specimens for medical study. It was not until the early 1990s that the equipment was developed to make it possible to plastinate whole body specimens. The body is embalmed with a formalin injection, while smaller specimens are immersed in formalin; after dissection, the bodily fluids and soluble fat are replaced with reactive resins and elastomers such as silicon rubber and epoxy; after being posed, they are cured with light, heat, or certain gases to establish rigidity and permanence. Each specimen takes up to 1,500 person-hours to prepare. To distribute the special polymers, equipment, and technology he developed, he organized BIODUR Products. In 1983, Catholic figures asked him to plastinate the heel bone of St. Hildegard of Bingen, a 12th-century mystic, writer, composer, inventor of the Lingua ignota ("unknown language" ) and an alternative alphabet, and the founder of scientific natural history in Germany. Eventually, in association with his second wife, he designed "Body Worlds," public exhibitions of plastinated bodies in lifelike poses and dissected to show various structures and systems of human anatomy. The display premiered in Japan in 1995 and has toured more than 40 countries, viewed by 40 million people; by 2006 it had made over $200 million, despite religious groups' objections to the display of human remains. Von Hagens was called Dr. Death and Dr. Frankenstein and was compared to Josef Mengele, who performed notorious medical experiments at Auschweitz, not far from his birthplace.

  3. The source of the bodies used in the exhibition is unclear, but most of them (perhaps all of them) are Chinese, despite the 1979 “Regulations on Dissection of Corpses” issued by the Chinese Health Ministry of Health that a human cadaver had to be unclaimed for at least a month before it could be used for anatomical studies by medical schools; plastination requires fresh, preservative-free cadavers due to the fluid exchange. National Public Radio reported that von Hagen "says that he obtains them all only through trusted sources, but no outsider has verified that they might not be ... dissidents killed in a Chinese prison, then sold through a body broker to a medical school, and then displayed to the public.” In 1996 von Hagens became a visiting professor at Dalian Medical University in China and became director of the plastination research center at the State Medical Academy in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. In 1999 China began its persecution of Falun Gong ("Dharma Wheel Practice"), a Chinese spiritual movement that combined meditation and qigong exercises with a moral philosophy centered on truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance. President Jiang Zemin visited Dalian and told mayor Bo Xilai to crack down on the sect; his zeal soon led to his promotion to party secretary and governor. His wife, Gu Kailai, discovered that detaind Falun Gong practitioners sould be made profitable in two ways: Their organs could be removed for transplantation, and the bodies could be sold to plastination factories. The growth of the plastination industry in Daliaan maded China the world’s No. 1 exporter of corpses. (In 2012 Gu was convicted of the murder of her aide Neil Heywood and given a suspended death sentence; in 2013 Bo was sentenced to life imprisonment for corruption.) In 2002 a pathologist/coroner in Novosibirsk, Russia, was charged with illegally selling 56 corpses to von Hagens; the shipment was halted and the contract between the two men was terinated. In 2002 he performed the first public autopsy in the UK in 170 years, to a sell-out audience of 500 people in a London theatre, despite prior warning that it wuld be a criminal act under section 11 of the Anatomy Act 1984; it was subsequently shown on the UK's Channel 4, resulting in a record 130 complaints, but the Independent Television Commission ruled that the program had not broken broadcasting rules. In 2003 the Mentorn television production company proposed a documentary, "Futurehuman," in which von Hagens would perform a series of modifications on a corpse to demonstrate improvements to human anatomy, and von Hagens appealed publicly for a terminally ill person to donate his body; however, the documentary was cancelled after the body donor pulled out. In 2003, a parliamentary committee in Kyrgyzstan investigated von Hagens for illegally receiving several hundred corpses from prisons, psychiatric institutions, and hospitals without prior notification of the families; von Hagens testified that he had received nine from Kyrgyzstan hospitals but none were used for Body Worlds exhibition. He founded Von Hagens Dalian Plastination Ltd., in Dalian, in 2004. After several legal challenges to the Body Worlds exhibit in Germany, he announced in 2004 that it would leave the country; but it toured North America from 2004 and returned to Europe in 2007. He once claimed that after his death he plans to donate plastinated wafers of his body to several universities so could teach at several locations simultaneously, but in 2011 he announced he was dying from Parkinson's disease and that his preserved corpse would be put on display as part of Body Worlds. "Sagittal 3-D Slice Body" is an example of the new body sectioning methods he developed that yield very thin slices.


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