I don't know what I like, but I know art....

Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Thru December 2001: I don't know what I like, but I know art....
By Missthing on Monday, September 24, 2001 - 09:22 pm: Edit

Interesting. I was in Melbourne a few months back and the most controversial exhibit at the Melbourne Museum is the "Human Body" gallery which uses this plastination process for their models. They didn't have full bodies though, just bits, but *lots* of bits. It was pretty bizarre and I was a touch squeamish looking at some, it was hard to believe that they'd used real dead bodies.

The most interesting bit as far as I was concerned is the comparative size of bladders between men and women, very obvious when shown in plastinated glory. Guys, this is why girls are always running to the bathroom, our bladders are *half* the size of yours! If there's any evidence God was a man, this is it. Though of course I suspect it's really because we need to have room for all the internal reproductive organs which man has hanging out...

By Heiko on Monday, September 24, 2001 - 07:10 pm: Edit

The exhibition isn't the most freaky part of the whole picture - Gunter von Hagen himself is!

He lives in his own world of body art and plastination and cannot understand any concerns people might have about his exhibition. When asked if he himself would like to be plastinated he looked at the interviewer as if this was the stupidest question ever asked. He can't imagine somebody would NOT want to be plastinated when they are dead.

In that respect, he's not comparable to Damien Hurst at all. He doesn't want to shock people. He was actually shocked that some people were shocked by his works. He considers it to be the most beatiful thing on earth. That makes every argumentation about ethics, religion and piety worthless - it just doesn't reach him at all.

Interesting person, he is...

By Petermarc on Monday, September 24, 2001 - 12:54 pm: Edit


actually this reminds me of the hitchcock show at the modern art museum in paris...they have mrs. bates head on display...as with all works of art, it has the material described;
human hair
human teeth
human skin

uh, do you think they could have simply written:
a real fucking dried human head!
gag! i always thought
it was too freaky looking for that, but it seems a little redundant to take human skin, teeth and hair and re-create a human head with it...

By Admin on Monday, September 24, 2001 - 12:04 pm: Edit


Yes, I was going to mention Fragonard as well!

I saw his anatomical figures in a documentary on really freaky stuff on cable about 10 years ago, and have never seen it since.

Even the man on the horse is not original to this latter exhibition.

Also, search for more info on the Fragonard examples lead me to this book:

Encyclopedia Anatomica:

Tho the figures are made out of wax they have a similar appearance. But the Anatomica collection, again 18th century, is vast, and includes every aspect of the anatomy. I used one image for the splash for sepulchritude previous to the current. Tis lovely.

By _Blackjack on Monday, September 24, 2001 - 11:43 am: Edit

There was a French anatomist in the 18th century who did stuff similar to this, by the name of Honore Fragonard (cousin to the painter Jean-Honore Fragonard.)


And SRL are terribly cool. Unfortunately, they can't find many places to preform anymore, since the noise and potential for casualties and property damage are rather prohibitive.

"That is my art, and it is very dangerous!"

By Pataphysician on Monday, September 24, 2001 - 11:13 am: Edit

Check out Mark Pauline and Survival Research Laboratories. His early work included reanimating dead rabbits, and such, with robotic machinery and "empowering" live hamsters with giant spider-like battle machines that the hamster could operate with tiny foot controls.

SRL invented the whole battling robots concept back in the 1970's. But their spectacles have always been WAY, WAY beyond those silly little "battlebot" things. My hero, Mark Pauline.


By Verawench on Monday, September 24, 2001 - 07:31 am: Edit

Fascinating! Anybody see that Italian fellow's art that puts skinned roadkill on display?

Art and science are set to reunite once more and that's just fine by me.

By Pataphysician on Monday, September 24, 2001 - 07:23 am: Edit

I asked about this several months back, but no one seems to have seen the exhibition. It's coming to the U.S. eventually.

By Don_Walsh on Monday, September 24, 2001 - 02:41 am: Edit

Er. I don't think this was exactly what Lord H had in mind when he called me a Plastic Paddy. At least, I hope not.

Not only does this raise ethical questions, but fascinating intellectual property questions as well. If a plasticized human cadaver is art, then it is copyrightable. If someone were to possess genetic material from the person who donated the body, though, and had both the plastination technology and as yet nonexistant human cloning technology, this could make for a fascinating case of infrigement.

By Frater_Carfax on Sunday, September 23, 2001 - 11:43 pm: Edit

Interesting art review in the latest online edition of the British Medical Journal...


Anyone been to see this?

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