Sunday, 5 March 2006


Week 6 Artist's Date was to The Amazing Body Human Body
Show and amazing it was!

My most learning moment was to see how high up in our
body the heart and lungs are. I couldn’t stop thinking of that
old adage “my heart was in my mouth” often exclaimed when
shocked, surprised or frightened – now I know why. That the
heart is surrounded by the lungs was a learning experience
too. However more amazing was the delight felt at having
given up smoking twelve years ago as I saw the appalling
condition and discolouration of the lungs of the
“specimens” and “speciwomen’s”.

The following was a puzzlement -
Had the organisers of the show removed all identifying
information for any specific reasons? Had acadaemia decided that
these were only of scientific value therefore not worth, according
them, any identifying information? The commentator told how they
were all Asian people yet we were left wondering who they had been,
what age had they died and why? Were they athletic? We noticed
differences in their hands, arthritis in fingers, yet we knew little else
and we wanted more. Not for a macabre reason but to be able to
understand who these people had been and what they had done in
their lives. Had the woman had children, if so how many, how old
was she? How was her body different to say someone of a younger
or older age? Why was she right at the back of the display when
she should have been with the male at the beginning of the display!
This was a patriarchial event for sure!

The Sydney Morning Herald has a short video where lots of these
questions are answered and where the money making v the
scientific debate opens up as to what the real reason of this
"show" is about.

For twenty bucks admission plus another three bucks for a
recorded hand held device, too man questions weren’t answered.
The recorded commentary lacked. It was perfect for a bunch of
school kids. We could have saved that money as the printed sheet
told more. The lighting was appalling.The skiing guy was almost
in the dark, most of the display cards revealed little. Wasn’t this
“show” meant to be life changing, educational and controversial??
It was thought provoking maybe, hopefully life changing for any
smokers peering at the indigo coloured lungs of each body yet
overpriced and not well prepared for the general public.

From an anatomical perspective the exhibition was enthralling.
Personally it was life changing. Many years ago I willed my body
to N.S.W. University. Not any more. The thought of this wonderful
shell being ripped through a bandsaw to become one centimetre
slices is too disturbing – AND … there’ll be no more lamb grillers,
pork chops, or liver and bacon served out of my kitchen either.


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