Bodies…Exhibition or Exploitation?

The controversial touring show, “Bodies–The Exhibition”, has come to Winnipeg. I responded to the news with a very “visceral” reaction.  Is the show a scientific exhibition or crass exploitation of the vulnerable? While I can’t deny that the human form is indeed beautiful and mysterious in all its complexity, I’m not sure I want to see it so nakedly displayed. While I have some concerns about provenence and permission, I recognize that even if there were complete assurances that the dead had willingly consented to have their bodies displayed in such a fashion, it would still not sit well with me. I can’t entirely separate the respect due to the living, breathing loving person from that of the plastinated remains.

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3 Responses to Bodies…Exhibition or Exploitation?

  1. Liz Gauthier says:

    I like your respect for persons whether living or passed on and understand wanting people viewed in appropriate ways (which explains my intense dislike of horror and violence or crass sexuality in movies, media, magazines, etc.). Thus I hoped that they were come by appropriately and a sign assured us that these “displays” were treated with respect. For our family it was hugely interesting to see the incredible complexity of the human being, I was in awe at how amazing and intricate the human body is! This is a huge display and takes a long time to get through, I came out moved and exhausted.

    • Liz Gauthier says:

      At 6:00 news yesterday it was revealed that the permission of the Bodies The Exhibition may not have been granted by those people whose bodies are on display but that, rather, they may have been taken without consent or by violent means. Thus it has been suggested by a human rights lawyer on this newscast (Channel 5) that they be given a proper burial.
      As much as we may allow the use of bodies for humanitarian means, ie. organ donation to save lives, study in order to learn, it is always done with the consent of the individual and through legal means in this country.
      I applaud the investigation of the means by which this exhibit came about as it respects the rights of individual choice to such decisions and to their final resting place.

  2. Liz Gauthier says:

    I can’t believe I’m back here but it’s b/c I’ve learned that someone is selling bodies like these for huge amounts of cash on the internet and am so disturbed that the human body can become an item of income and thus the possible use of illegal means to obtain this income…. now horrified and wanting to see no more bodies put up on display.

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