Body Worlds plans corpses sex exhibition
Since 1995 Body Worlds have created spectacular exhibitions around the world. They plan to stage a new show solely dedicated to corpses copulating, they said in an interview with Reuters.
Married couple Gunther von Hagens and Angelina Whalley aim to democratize anatomy by exhibiting cadavers prepared using a technique invented by von Hagens called “plastination” that removes water from specimens and preserves them with silicon rubber or epoxy resin.
Body Worlds creative director Whalley said:
“It’s not my intention to show certain sexual poses. My goal is really to show the anatomy and the function,” she said, adding the sex exhibition could be staged next year.
It is not the first time that Body Worlds has shown dead bodies in the act of sex. In their exhibition ‘Life Cycles’ of May this year, which focuses on the human experience from conception to death they exhibited a male and female cadaver having intercourse. The exhibition has now opened in Zurich on Friday.
German politicians called the current “Cycle of Life” opened in Zurich on Friday, “revolting” and “unacceptable”.
27 million people have visited Body Worlds exhibitions and they have often been criticized for showing corpses stripped of their skin often in theatrical positions.
Von Hagens performed the first public autopsy for 170 years in the UK in 2002. And he hoped that the Swiss, who have a long tradition of direct democracy and personal freedom, would be tolerant of the Cycle of Life’s sexual content.
“In Germany I am the mucky pup. I am loved by the masses but in intellectual circles they think I have a screw loose,” said von Hagens.
“Switzerland is the first country that already said from the outset that we could show whatever we wanted,” added von Hagens.
Von Hagens is responsible for positioning the bodies in their poses and says that he has lengthy discussions with his wife Whalley on how to do this without crossing the lines of decency.
“We have discussed whether it is proper to show homosexuality and in what way. This is a very delicate subject,” said von Hagens, “But when we see the development of this over the past 20 or 30 years, it is more and more accepted.”
Von Hagens and Whalley said they both intended to donate their bodies for plastination. They see plastination as alternative to burial or cremation.
The anatomists said they aimed to engage visitors on a philosophical and aesthetic level, turning away accusations their exhibits portrayed only the mechanical functions of the body and failed to show what made people human.
“The body that’s left is the vessel of the soul and the soul’s vessel of course evokes the soul,” said von Hagens.
Whalley said the absence of the soul from the exhibits helped viewers to analyze themselves.
“It is the absence of the soul from the exhibited bodies that makes it all the more present, because visitors reflect on the fact what they are looking at was a loved one,” she said.