Yesterday we attended Body Worlds 2 at the Chicago Museum of Science & Industry. The exhibit is both fascinating and disturbing. Millions of people at hundreds of museums across the globe have seen Body Worlds and the demand keeps growing. Many museums are having to extend hours or even open around-the-clock in order to meet the public demand. At the time of our viewing the show was nearing the end of its run, yet it was still overcrowded to the point that a line had to be formed in order to gain access to the gallery. Patrons were not able to wander at their leisure or spend significant time studying the pieces as you can at most showings which have been at the museum for any length of time. Needless to say, this exhibit is extremely popular. If you are a James Bond fan, you might remember seeing these pieces featured in the movie Casino Royale (2006).
The majority of the installations are real human beings who have undergone the process of plastination (post-mortem, of course) and who were posed and partially dissected by artist Gunther von Hagens. By removing the subjects’ skin or opening the torso, he makes it possible for visitors to see all of the inner workings of the bodies preserved as they were in life; muscle tissue, circulatory systems, nervous systems, etc. Also included in the displays are cross section cuttings of the bodies, like tangible MRIs, as well as animals like horses and camels.
While attending this show, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind. These are the remains of REAL people, therefore it is inappropriate for you to touch them or take photos of/with the displays. Several people were removed for doing this, so PLEASE have some respect and at least TRY to act like you’ve had some home training. I would like to add a warning to beware of the back room, it has a lot of dead babies and a cut open pregnant woman with no skin, this noticeably bothered most people. Those who would like to become part of future Body World exhibits can find more information about willing their body to art on the Body Worlds website.