June 01, 2005


In addition to my dorkular pursuits, I also went to go see the Universe Within. That is, I saw a bunch of human remains that have been jauntily displayed. Here are a few of the things that are questionable about this:

  • There's seriously a lot of jaunty with the display of these remains. For example, the flayed body that is holding its own skin on a wooden hanger. Or the man in a running position who's had all of his major muscle groups dissected and flown out to his sides like meaty wings.

  • The process used to preserve the bodies is known as plastination. And there's some question as to whether it was properly applied. That is to say, the SF Dept. of Public Health is investigating whether or not the fluid that's been seen on the surfaces of some remains represents a health risk or is just incredibly disgusting (I refrained from sampling the seepage in any case).

  • The organizer of the exhibit, Gerhard Perner, claims to have worked with the Beijing Medical University. The university says they have no relationship with the Austrian TV producer and are considering suing him.

  • There's outcry from various other folks because of:
    1. bodies
    2. involvement with China
    3. involvement of bodies from China (and associated taboos concerning the display of the dead ... however, I'm not sure where this particular display would be considered, you know, normal).
So yeah. If you're looking for an ethically questionable, possibly hazardous and certainly creepy day out ... head on down to the Nob Hill Masonic Center!


dutchashell said...

I've been wanting to see Gunther's work for quite some time now. Although, the idea of some hack running around imitating his exhibits and creating public health hazards is somehow a bit more intriguing.
Plus, any seepage that is not quickly identifiable by a Health Department analysis, is just plain, good fun.

Adam said...

everything that happens at that place is creepy