Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Myth of the Human Body (A Bare Bones Exhibit)

see how too much msg in your food
really causes dehydration?
For those of you with a tinge of Necrophilia (not the sexual kind), and have always wondered what doctors, medical students and undertakers see on a semi-day-to-day basis, hop on over to the Neobabylon Building along Bayani Road in Taguig and catch "The Myth of the Human Body," the exhibit which has been extended until the end of this year 2011.

Okay, so that's my dutiful piece of plugging out of the way... Let's get to the real story...

The exhibit itself isn't bad. It's certainly a notch higher than me sneaking into the med labs in UST for kicks way back when i was a student. The fucked up part is "Myth" riding on Gunther von Hagens' groundbreaking "Bodyworlds" exhibit, when the exhibits were admittedly hand-me-down units bought out by some Korean investor. I also found the "myth" approach very corny, as it was merely done to shoehorn the visual concept of the exhibit hall itself into the show.

Brings a whole new meaning to the
term "wish i was dead."
But no, this isn't "Myth," this
is the real McCoy. There's the
oddball von Hagens to the right
of the corpses who are in heaven,
figuratively, as well as probably
I chanced upon some "Body Worlds" photos online aways back and found myself oddly fascinated with the idea of seeing human bodies peeled open and put in cool action poses. So when i chanced upon a poster for "Myth" which mentioned "Body Worlds" rather prominently, too promenently in fact, i totally flipped and bugged the wifey to go there with me. We eventually did, and i found myself just a wee bit disappointed. I pretty much got what i wanted, which was a bunch of corpses peeled up and shown. But they were far from the lovely, pink-muscled, bodies doing funky things like playing poker, riding horses, and even having sex. There were a few "standard" pieces like the skinned man, the high-fiving half man, and such... But these poorly preserved pieces made with Chinese cadavers were obviously not from von Hagens' collection... Most of the exhibit space was filled up with illustrative boards, and separated body parts. I suspect that these plastinated organs are merely salvaged from deteriorated full-body pieces. Hardly the witty, well-preserved exhibit known as Body Worlds. One other observation I made was that most Chinese farmers and/or dissidents/ victims of Communist human rights violations who were thrown into this exhibit mostly needed orthodontists. They also pretty much justified the stereotypical drawing of buck-toothed Chinese.

The supposed highlight of the exhibit was "The Red Man," which was the well-preserved plastic tracing of the entire human artery system using some red resin. It had the requisite glass enclosure with halogen spotlight, and must have been quite a sight when it was first completed. But... either due to poor shipping and handling, or the fact that such things were meant to happen anyways, so spare units/pieces were probably required... there were so many little pieces of intricate blood-vessel/nervous system lattices that were strewn on the floor of the glass casing. Quite depressing to see.

Cheers to the med student/usher who seemed like he did his best to make the show as interesting as he could, but the slight disarray and sometimes poor state of the exhibit pieces couldn't be covered up by enthusiastic talk.

'catch you later.

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