Dr. Death is in Milan.
Until February 17, Fabbrica del Vapore exhibits BODY WORLDS – the real world of the human body. After the success and the first Roman exhibition, the ”cadavers” by Gunther Von Hagens continue their incredible celebration of life. Celebration because, even if the works are real bodies donated to the anatomical pathologist, the event sums up the desire to communicate science, health and sentiments, looking over the sheer essence of the flesh.
Gunther Von Hagens in 1977 defines a completely new method for the preservation of organic matter. Observing preparations inserted directly into the plastic he decides to create a more direct eye contact with tissues, vessels, nerves, organs, patenting the method of plastination, the replacement of body fluids with silicone polymers that allows the maintenance of the matter and of its colours over the years. This scientific purpose has been briefly exceeded by a mutual interest to see how we are made without having to necessarily enroll in a course of medicine. In ten years, Von Hagens has passed from small samples to entire bodies, whose preparation requires approximately 1500 hours. The desire to establish a real ”Museum of Man”, and the desire to be in turn plastinated after death complete the icon of the doctor-artist vaguely insane.
If there was no indication about the authenticity of the bodies, the viewer probably will do not linger one second on what he observes. However, the focus is on something else. The setting is that of a real course of anatomy, it starts from the skeleton, passing through muscles and ligaments, to then obtain an overall view of the various apparatuses. The attention is captured by the so called “plastinated”, confirming the fact that the viewer is not in front of a dead but a completely different concept. A sort of lifeless and eternal matter, modelled by the artist almost like marble or clay. The absence of the skin in a plastinate representing a basketball or a chess player allows the direct observation of our body structures in familiar attitudes. The educational vision of the exhibition presents a series of display cases that contain specific components, from small ear bones to some interesting sections of legs and arms, illustrating the contact between bones, muscles and blood vessels at various points of the limb.
The exposition also devotes a space to pathology, exposing the direct effects of an unhealthy life: ”carbonized” lungs of smoker, a polycystic kidney, and an interesting section of an abdominal profile of an individual overweight.
On the walls of the rooms, photographs of people in everyday moments and quotes from names like Gibran, Hugo and Confucius, maintaining the focus on one of the most important organs: the heart, the first organ to form after conception.
Concluding, an exhibition where the visitor can feel integrated from beginning to end, from the flesh to the artistic spirit.
Dr. Death is in Milan. But do not worry, he came to talk about life.