Bodies !

I missed the Bodies Exhibition when it was in Germany a while back. When I found out that the exhibition is currently showing in NYC, I immediately decided to go. I had to. Except Florentin who already saw it, and Mirja and Morgane who were too creeped out and therefore were not interested, everyone was curious enough to come with me.

First of all, for those of you that do not know what Bodies is about: Gunther von Hagens developed the process of plastination in 1977. This unique technique allows him to preserve human bodies and organs by replacing body fluids with polymers. That way, the specimens are perfectly maintained and protected from decomposition and decay. The bodies are then shown in various life-like positions, often partially dissected. Gunther von Hagens uses only donated bodies from Chinese mental hospitals, but went through some legal trouble for obtaining bodies under questionable circumstances, some time ago. Here’s his picture, he’s the guy on the left ( :D ).

So last weekend, the whole group went to NYC, and we splitted in two groups. The Exhibition is located in the Seaport district. The $29 entrance fee is not very cheap, but as I’m not exactly the museum kind of guy, I guess it’s reasonable to do this once in a while. Anyway, we went inside, got our tickets, and the tour could begin ! Unfortunateley, cameras were not allowed inside the museum, so I had to find pictures from internet. But they are quite good.

A dark atmosphere that plays with obscurity and light surrounds the whole place, but not in a creepy way. It somehow looked sacred and mysterious. Some may find it raw, and perhaps not everyone would enjoy it as I did. But it’s utterly fascinating. The plastinates are mounted on pedestals and they are displayed without glass. That way, we could see every detail of the human bodies. Don’t get me wrong here, it’s not about some kind of morbid fascination of death or anything likewise. In fact, it’s not macabre at all. Even though we were standing before real bodies, the fascinating thing was the complexity of the human body itself. It’s disputable whether or not this could be considered as actual art, but it was definitely a scientific show-off and I learned many thing about the human body.

The different part of the exhibit showed every major system of the human body: The locomotive system, the digestive and reproductive one, the blood network and the prenatal development. For this last part, the fetus room had its own special warning, so you could skip that part if you wanted to. But honestly, this was the part I most enjoyed !

There are actually no real words to describe the whole thing, if you are curious enough, I would definitely recommend a visit to anyone ! It took us almost two hours to see everything, and everyone enjoyed it.

We spent the day and the evening in NYC, walking around, contemplating the christmas lights. Apparently, we were not the only ones with this particular idea in mind. In fact, thousands of people did lastminute christmas shopping, and walking around the Rockefeller Center was a pain in the neck. We took a drink in a pub and later on, we ended up in an italian restaurant in the greenwich village.

The majority wanted to go back to Princeton after this, so we took the train back. A funny thing happened on the way back from the trainstation: Samuele, our Siemens-Schumacher, did not think it was necessary to put gas in his car. Of course, the engine stopped at 1:15am on Route 1, and it was raining. We had to call Flo, and 20 minutes later, he brought us a jerrican of gas. Yeah, that was funny !

By the way, Merry Christmas !

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