Our body …

It is said here in France that it is ‘forbidden to forbid’. It is therefore very rare for a book to be banned here. Not even to speak of the forced closure of an exposition. Yet, this has now happened. I will now express a personal opinion which I try never to do, but I […]

It is said here in France that it is ‘forbidden to forbid’.

It is therefore very rare for a book to be banned here.

Not even to speak of the forced closure of an exposition. Yet, this has now happened. I will now express a personal opinion which I try never to do, but I believe that a responsible adult should be allowed to read and see what he/she wants. Note that I do not say ‘do what he or she wants’.

Two French human rights organizations have won their court case to have the exposition our body – à corps ouvert on here in Paris at the Espace 12 in the ‘Madeleine’ district closed down. The exposition started on February 12 and was to have run through to May 10 when it was to have moved to another expo center until August 23.

What it the expo all about?

Well, it’s about the human body. One sees bodies – real ones – with their skins removed; one sees them running, riding a bike, sitting down while deep in thought or reading a book. One also sees human organs – real ones; hearts, lungs, kidneys, brains … There is a human foetus cut in half; also a placenta cut in half. One body has strips of skin removed. In one room, the human skin, removed from the top of the head to the feet, is laid out on a table.

Feeling sick are you? Yes, one feels sick. Sick and shocked. But I know more about the human body now; now I know how very small our hearts are and I will be kinder to mine. I also know that a human kidney looks just like those of animals that we so love eating, and never again will I eat kidneys. Same with liver. The texture of a human liver is exactly like those of animals, and never will I eat liver again. Not even to speak of tongue …

The expo is Chinese and the major objection to it is that real human bodies are being used. The Chinese say that the bodies are those of people who had ‘bequeathed’ their bodies to scientific research. Opponents of the expo say, no, these are the bodies of people who had been executed by the Chinese government – political opponents – or of people who had died in jail.

The bodies have been plastified; plastification apparently preserves bodies better than mummification.

Well, what will they think of next?

Marilyn Z. Tomlins

4 Responses

4-23-2009 at 13:49:00

I would thing it was wrong to close the exhibition. You don’t have to go and see it – like TV there is always an off button.

As for not eating organ meats again, Marilyn, I am surprised at you. You didn’t know what you ate was the same as in the human body? I certainly do and I still love my kidneys although never been that keen on liver.

4-23-2009 at 13:50:00

Sorry, typo, should be I would think it was wrong.

4-26-2009 at 02:23:00

That expo came to Perth a couple of years ago and I didn’t see it for two reasons – I thought I’d be sickened by it and it was too expensive:-) However, I think it would have been invaluable for students in the fields of medicine and art who need to undertand the body in motion and in stillness.

And you’ve just touched on one of the reasons I’m a vegetarian. We are not very far removed from other animals, and while it is natural for one species to prey on another, I’m not sure we have earned the “right” to treat our prey as commodities. I’m not prepared to kill my prey, so I do not eat it. Apart from that, we really do need to eat lower down the food chain, for environmental reasons.

4-29-2009 at 20:49:00

we will talk about plastification again within one or two centuries ^^

skined people are not very new, Thank you for the news Marilyn, as i’m quite disconnected with this part of the world since a fex years ^^

we’ve seen that before within science schools for medicines and museums

What is more dubious is who has tried to do something with humans body before as if raw materials.I believe some Nazis used to, and of course many freaky killers. I Think Descartes thoughts were more usefull about thinking a body like a machine than this exhibition ^^

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