Sunday, July 17, 2016

Body World Expo.Si Bono Discovery Centre, Newtown,Johannesburg

"We enjoyed this version far more than the previous one.
We found it more educational,less sensational and
the depiction of the sex act was far more discreet and respectful.
I wish that you would consider bringing the animal expo next".
This quote of mine will be used as part of the advertising
for the run in Cape Town.

People might call him "macabre", but Dr. Gunther von Hagens
had the belief that bodies could be preserved from the inside out
and not in the traditional method of embedding them in resin.
His plastination "dream" was conceived in 1977
and is celebrated by the current series of exhibitions
that can be seen around the world.
As an anatomy professor, this is his legacy to medicine.

Most people have seen a skeleton,
and this one can be found as visitors enter the exhibition.
The displays are not meant to be scary, 
but informative and educational 

Aside from the plastinates, there are "slices" of
bone and anatomy that have been preserved in resin.
These almost look like they could be hung in a modern art gallery.
For this reason they are not on sale to the general public,
but are made available to medical institutions.

This fellow was waiting to introduce
visitors to what a plastinate is,
but in a gentle manner...
Not all of the body had been "preserved".
People often do not realize that the bodies 
that they are looking at used to be living, breathing, humans.
All the bodies have been donated and there is no reference
to where they come from of who they were in life.

If you have ever broken a bone,
then you might have one of these devices now.

The female form.
I watched as a father quietly explained to two young children
what this was...both seemed to be enthralled.
Especially the younger one, who was fascinated by
the internal organs.

Visitors to this exhibition seem to think that it is 
smaller than the previous one.
In fact there are exactly the same number of exhibits
but displayed in smaller area.
I believe that there were more male plastinates
this time than previously, but I might be wrong.

The attention to detail is truly spectacular.
It can take a year to make one of these.

Each is displayed to enhance to a certain function.
These are not randomly posed for shock value.

Looking like an extra from a Si-Fi movie,
this particular plastinate was used to display the nervous system


Although visitors might be noisy when they arrive,
they soon become quiet and respectful as they walk through
the various exhibition spaces.

This is called "The Rescuer" 
and for me it was the most poignant and ironic of all.
Did the man actually die of a heart attack?
The whole exhibition focusses on healthy living.
Looking after our bodies, taking care of what we eat and drink
AND getting enough exercise...
Sitting on a couch with crisps and a soda is NOT
how our bodies were designed to operate. 

The Skaters...
showing how muscles work.

There is a small area which shows foetuses from conception to birth.
There were three young girls in the room at the same time as me.
I overheard one of them comment;
 "This is the reason I could never have an abortion". 

Why do our faces bleed so much?
This is the reason...a mass of blood vessels.

Time to hit the slopes.
This skier attracted a lot of interest.

My wife looking at two soccer players.
As a medical doctor, she believes that this is the way of future education.
It might even do away with medical students having to cut up cadavers.

The sex act...
and the one that attracts the most interest and comment.
It is housed in a small display area that has a warning about
the graphic nature of the display.
It is not meant to be viewed by those under 16, 
however as this is at the end of the exhibition,
I see no reason to set an age restriction.
This year, this is a far more respectful way to demonstrate the "act".
In the previous exhibition the plastinates 
were "dressed" in rather strange clothing.
Which almost turned the visitors in voyeurs. 

If all of us would only realize that this is true.
What sounds does YOUR body make?

The exhibition has been extended to the end of July.
A highly educational outing for the whole family.
That being said, I don't believe that very young children
can either understand or fully appreciate what they witness

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