It's the work of Dr. Gunther Von Hagens, an anatomist who developed the plastination method for preserving tissue, and then took the show on the road.
The BodyWorlds museum exhibitions, featuring whole-body "plastinates" in varying stages of dissection displayed in athletic and other natural poses, have been viewed by 20 million people all over the world ... and we're about to make that 20 million and TWO.
I first heard about the exhibit five years ago, and I've been (for lack of a better term) dying to see it. Just yesterday I found out that it's at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago until April 29th, and Ev has graciously (if somewhat green-around-the-gills-ishly) agreed to drive six hours and go with me to see dead people as art.
This, on the heels of the news story about the 5000-year-old couple found in an eternal embrace, has had me thinking about death for the past few days.
Death isn't something I've ever been afraid of. Although the process of going through it doesn't excite me very much, the state of death seems okay to me, and I don't much care what becomes of my mortal coil afterward
But, IF I decide to make some kind of statement with my death, or choose to devote it to some purpose, I'd rather no one thwarted that effort. If I were 1/2 of that 5000-year-old couple, for instance, who made a conscious and visible choice about how they wished to spend death, I'd be mightily pissed if someone came along and took us apart to check out our teeth. I say that kind of monument to love is more important than the wear patterns on a set of 5000-year-old molars.
If Ev weren't so squeamish I'd suggest donating ourselves to Dr. Hagens to be the first plastinated lesbian couple. Not only could we travel the world in a state of eternal lesbian partnership ... we'd be all lean and toned, and we'd never have to worry about a bad hair day!