Friday, December 17, 2004

Bodyworlds Uber Alles

Originally uploaded by alflamont.
In a Move reminiscent of Scientology, the gang at bodyworks sent me an E-mail.

My friend Mac says that I'm next, and they'll pose me doing Jazzercize, with legwarmers and a headband.

What's bizzare to me is how quickly they responded, and how immediately they refer me to their own literature as a valid reference point. The Lady Invoked Von Hagen's name with some eerie Messianic undertones. Or maybe I'm overreacting. Here's the e-mail.

Dear Alf,

Thank you for your interest in the Body Worlds Exhibition.
We value all suggestions, criticism and praise, as these provide us with important information for improving our work.

For your info, please find below an extract from the chapter “On Gruesome Corpses, Gestalt Plastinates and Mandatory Interment” by: Gunther von Hagens
published in: "Brave New Body Worlds - The Question of the Exhibition",
Klett Cotta Verlag, Stuttgart 2001

You can find the whole article on our webpage

Best regards from Heidelberg
Christiane Casott

Institut für Plastination
Rathausstrasse 11
D-69126 Heidelberg
Phone: +49 6221-33 11 54
Fax: +49 6221-3311 24

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

The Night Before Break...

Originally uploaded by alflamont.
'Twas the night before break, when in Paradigm
Not an Agent was stirring, not even Ol’ Stein ;
The Agents had gone to their homes and affairs,
And assistants were left, with their woes and their cares.

The mailroom was huddled in the south basement,
While the copiers hummed to Marshall’s contentment.
Sabrina and Whitney kept guard at the lobby,
While Chad from security worked on his hobby

When out on courtyard there was such a clatter,
The assistants took five to study the matter.
Away to the doors went the gals and the blokes,
Stepped into the courtyard, and lit up their smokes.

The music that came from the Platinum side,
Made us all think they have something to hide,
When, what to my wondering eyes should ascend,
But an Aston Martin, and several agents

With a little old driver, smiling with glee,
I knew in a moment it must be Sam G.
More rapid than eagles the Agents they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

To the crescent hotel! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"

As a parade of people who work way too hard,
They slowly, but surely came into the yard,
So up to the courtyard the agents they flew,
With Sharon, and Margo and our bonuses too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the ground
The jingle of a barman pouring a round
As I stretched out my hand, and was turning around,
Into the courtyard Glassman came with a bound.

She was dressed ”Festive”, from her head to her toe,
And she looked like a pimp who was missing his ho;
She welcomed us all to the holiday party
And introduced Sam who spoke then, quite hearty.

His eyes -- how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

I think he was poignant, I wasn’t quite sure
By this time the evening was becoming a blur;
I remember Doug Fronk and some weird kid, Chris Smith,
Who claimed he was an agent, yeah right, as if.

Ruf’s style of dancing had become just that,
And Balkin was donning some sort of hat;
Clossey and Barkett were commiserating,
And I think Nick and Sam are suddenly Dating;

Arthur and Judith drank shot after shot,
Injured Douglass and Hess, brought medicinal pot.
Cal was breaking boards with his head,
And JSI made a barstool his bed.

The Night as it goes got even weirder,
As I heard Blatt and Stein argue which one was Greener.
And the last thing I heard as I lost my sight was,

You Don’t have to go home but you can’t stay here.

Seriously, we have Taxis for you, let’s go!

I Know you have work tomorrow, maybe you should leave.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Von Hagens

Von Hagens
Originally uploaded by alflamont.

Just so you can get a taste for who it is behind the "Marvels" of bodyworks, it's this creepy little fellow. He does his work in a lab in China, because the EU wouldn't allow him to chop people up and use them questionably. To be fair, all his sculptures donated their bodies , but to be honest, isn't it a German who also offered up to be eaten by another German? The good doctor sees himself as a pioneer, but truthfully, his exhibit leaves you with a feeling of QUACK. A guy who sits next to me at work, said he found it "fascinating", and "beautiful", he also wears Dockers, so you be the judge.

Bodyworlds Exhibit: Less Science, more Fetish

Originally uploaded by alflamont.

Ok, so I visited the Bodyworlds Exhibit at the california science center this weekend, and I'm a little on the disturbed side for it.
Originally, my friends and I were all for it. Who can't stand a bit of the grotesque, in the name of science? And assuredly, the first part of the exhibit was disgusting, but educational. The bodies are plastisiced (sp?) and all the innards are then in view in their natural state.
Amazing yes? Well, then we go upstairs. The second part of the exhibit plummets into a bizzare danse macabre, where the skinned bodies of people are posed into horrible poses simulating life, but not necessarily informing. Most horribly is the flayed man pictured above (With my camera phone against the rules). His skin and muscles are drawn out, his hands in a "Boo" sort of manner and a weird straw hat on his head. How educational is this? I admit, the woman and fetus was impressive, the Vascular bodies are AMAZING, but as the exhibit continues...a baketball player, a gymnast, a swimmer, a CHESS PLAYER? What? Why are we seeing all these things? Are we now at an art exhibit? A Guy on a horse, holding his brain. Isn't that excessive?? Ridiculous? We get no perception of the human body with this model, all it is is an exercise in the technique that Dr. Gunter Van Hagens loves so much, and in the end, as far as art goes, it sucks, and as far as science goes, it sucks. This exhibit is to Science and anatomy, what the London Dungeon is to Art and History. A sideshow, devoid of class and value, brought to a general public by euro-trash, who know how to appeal to our worst instincts.

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