Inside out: Gunther von Hagens

The impact of things that are unseen being visible and out of context is well known.  And usually shocking.

Take, for example,the work of von Haagens.  Von Hagens is a figure of controversy.  A German anatomist, who created a technique called plastination which allowed him to preserve biological tissue.

His work for the Body Worlds exhibitions shows whole bodies plastinated in lifelike poses and dissected to show various structures and systems of human anatomy, which has since met with public interest and controversy in more than 50 cities around the world.

Religious groups, including representatives of the Catholic Church and some Rabbis have objected the display of human remains, stating that it is inconsistent with reverence towards the human body.

Von Hagens has developed new body sectioning methods that yield very thin slices, which he has called wafer plastination.  These “wafer” slices can then be plastinated and used for anatomy studies.

His work inspires awe and revulsion.  We are seeing something that is not normally seen.  We are not used to the dead being on such public display, or of seeing the intimacies of the human body in this context.

And yet there is a surplus of people leaving their bodies to von Hagens for his art.



Filed under Degree Show 2013, Inspiration

6 responses to “Inside out: Gunther von Hagens

  1. I’ve seen the exhibitions a few times, showing numerous of bodies that featured different gestures and daily activities. They were impressive, though the exhibition hall always smell like hospital…

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