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Dr Gunther Von Hagens *WARNING* Not for the squeamish

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posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 03:11 PM
The work of Dr Gunther Von Hagens


*WARNING* pictures contain images of real Human Bodies that have been dissected, and posed for artistic purposes to expose the inner workings of the Human body, if at all squeamish please do not view. DO NOT SCROLL DOWN!!!

When I first saw the work of Dr Gunther Von Hagens , I have to admit that I was more than a little shocked, it was during a channel 4 TV show in the UK where he was dissecting real Human Bodies to show the World just how the inner workings where laid out.

Since then I can say his work has grown to such an extent as to gain notoriety world wide, both good and bad.

Dr Hagens During his early years spent 2 years in an East German prison as a political prisoner, and was only released when the West German Government paid a $20,000 ransom for his release, in 1970 he went to West Germany where he studied Medicine at Lubeck, and received his doctorate at the University of Heidelberg in 1975.

In 1977 he started work and developed his technique of Plastination which he patented in 1978 and further developed his method over the next decade, and founded the Institute of Plastination in 1993.

For those of you not familiar with his work, Plastination was a method or technique used to preserve the Human body, or Any living thing using vacuum chambers to saturate the vessels and body tissues with a polymer plastic preserving the tissue supposedly forever, allowing the Human body to be sliced and cross sectioned to allow the examination of the internal structure with never before seen clarity without the need for cadavers.

Since the start of his work at his institute he expanded his work to include what he calls ART! Traveling the world exhibiting his work to the general public, posing the bodies in different poses doing different tasks, including Sports, Pastimes, and even incorporating his models (Bodies) with animals in working poses.

All of his exhibits are real Human bodies, which have been processed so as to be completely unidentifiable by anyone who knew the subject, and indeed all remnants of their previous existence have been removed to protect the person on display and their families, He runs a voluntary process where volunteers donate their bodies after death to be plastinated, Dr Von Hagens has strict rules regarding donation where as he has total control over the remains after donation therefore giving him undeniable rights to what happens and what he does with them.

This where most of the controversy comes into play, (disregarding the fact he is using human bodies as art ) There have been legal arguments placed in Germany that the control and what happens to these people should not just fall to him, even though he has thousands of living people on his lists willing to give themselves to him after death to do with as he wishes, even today on his website there is a link to donate your body to him to be plastinated, and it does not stop there, he also sells his plastinated bodies and body parts to anyone with enough money to purchase them, the families of the deceased receive no reward for the donation, some of his volunteers say they do this because they are afraid of there being nothing after death, and hope that their body will be displayed in a well lit room and are happy for themselves to go on display.

While he has caused controversy, not least the fact he now has funding off china with a University of his own, where he uses students to strip the bodies of their identities, and remove everything not needed for the type of display needed by the customer, which includes teaching Universities around the world, Recently there has been information released that he received the bodies of several hundred people from china and Russia who died without being identified, which has some asking who where these people?

I have to admit I am fascinated by his work and agree for the most part his work is incredible, however I have a problem with the control he has over these bodies and the fact he has control over the removal of their identities, the reason I have a problem is this method is open to massive abuse say for example a good way to make someone disappear without trace.

Thank you for viewing this thread, I hope I have not offended too many people by covering this subject.

Channel 4 Information on TV show the Anatomist

[edit on 18/4/2008 by azzllin]

posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 07:00 PM
This is why I will not go see Bodies Revealed. Sorry but that is just a bit too morbid for my tastes.

posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 07:07 PM
I saw this display when it visited Philadelphia. I must say, it was spectacular and horrifying at the same time. I believe that I am more desensitized than most of my friends (including my girlfriend) but they all loved it.

The most disturbing to me was the guy who was stretched out almost 20 feet tall riding a bike. It was very very strange.

I guess the only reason I was so put off by all of it was while most of it is extremely eye-opening, much of it is very unnecessary. It is not made to be artful, it is supposed to support science.

posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 07:14 PM
To the "disappearing without a trace," I don't think its very possible. Most of these people have at least some of their original skin (and one of the creepiest parts was when you could see their tattoos they had gotten during their life). I would say that many of them have some of their original characteristics intact.

And the fetus in the mother's belly was the worst. I was almost sick, as much as I was astounded by its (beauty?).

Sadly, I didn't get to see the horse, I think I would have liked to see such a large animal like that. It really was meticulous work.

[edit on 4/18/08 by SantaClaus]

posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 05:30 PM
I made a mistake in this thread by posting the pictures rather than posting external images, reason being, those who don't like or are squemish of the images wont scroll down past them to post a reply as somebody kindly pointed out to me.

I apologize for that and there is nothing i can do to change it

Thank you for looking though those of you who did get past the pictures.


posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 06:05 PM
That reminds me of a movie I watched and can't remember the name, but this guy would kill people and use them as art. Some would have a frightning look and other moods. That's really cool looking and I'm not squeamish so I'd like to see some of his art for real.
I liked the horse.

posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 06:19 PM
It challenges the traditional paradigms surrounding art. It sets new standards. Isn't that the purpose of modern art?

I completely understand why some would be tentative to see the display, but I believe that being disgusted by a human body would be very much like being disgusted at yourself and your own species.

I have not had the opportunity to see the display yet, but I would like to.

posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 06:28 PM
I don't really mind them at all. The only one that makes me feel a bit squemish is the one where the blood vessels are all that's left. That just kind of freaks me out.

I watched a show some time ago where he did a live (on air, I mean) dissection of a body. It was so facinating, how he started with just a dead body, and within an hour was lifting lungs, heart, eyeballs etc out and laying them aside.

posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 06:36 PM
This exhibit is in Milwaukee right now. It's fascinating. Admittedly, I found the horse to be the most interesting part of the exhibit, but the diseased organs came in a close second. If you're a smoker, you should definitely catch this thing when it's near you. You'll never smoke another cigarette.

I don't think it's gross at all. This is who we are. When you see the human body for what it really is, you realize how fragile we all are just beneath the skin.

posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 06:39 PM
OK! Who's gonna be the first to donate their body to art? Come on now, you know you want to.
Don't even ask me because I'll be the first to say no!
Just bury me in a wooden box and save the money that you would pay for a fancy coffin. No, scratch that. Just put me in the ground, and save all the money, but please don't plastisize me.

posted on May, 4 2008 @ 12:53 PM
I saw this exhibit a few months ago in Detroit. I thought is was fantastic and awe-inspiring. I don't see what the problem is, as long as the people know what their bodies are used for once donated. Understandably, this is not for the squeamish, but neither is a lot of great art!

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