Cynthia St. Charles Store

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Body Worlds

I have just returned from 6 days in Portland. Elizabeth was going for a training session in Cranio Sacral Therapy and I went along to take care of Airus while she was in class. We stayed with my sister, Shirley and her family. It was a good opportunity to visit with them.

On Sunday, Elizabeth's class ended early, so we went to the Body Worlds Exhibit at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. I'd read about this exhibit last fall when it opened in NYC. I was visiting another sister on the east coast at that time, and the New York Times review of the show turned me off to the idea of going. Real human body parts did not sound interesting to me, and the review I read discussed the ethics of the donation process.

Since Elizabeth is a body worker, she was interested in seeing the show, so we went.

These are real human bodies, donated for exhibition purposes. Body parts have been plastinated, then the remaining tissue has been decomposed away, exposing the specified organs, bones, etc for exhibit.

I found the exhibit to be interesting to a certain point, but overwhelming by the time I neared the end of the exhibit. I could not help thinking about the fact that these were once living human beings we were gawking at. The exhibit was very crowded and that made me uncomfortable, too.

My favorite part of the exhibit was the veins, arteries, and capillaries - the blood system - preserved and displayed without any supporting tissues - it is a very intricate and delicate looking - almost fiberlike system that was quite amazing to observe. A number of organs and body parts were shown in this way.


joyce said...

THe show sounds interesting but definitely not my cup of tea either. Give me a good quilt show any day.

Amy said...

I was in Portland a few weeks ago as well and thought the exhibit sounded fascinating and grotesque. Tending toward the squeamish side, I opted not to go. But to see inside our bodies in such a way would be interesting.