There’s been a lot of outrage lately about the new exhibition opening in the Ambassador in Dublin. You know something’s a hot topic when people write indignant Letters To The Editor. (Madam, I was disgusted to find that I am a cantankerous old man/woman and as such nobody will listen to my terribly important rants against the world, yours etc.)

Bodies at the Ambassador is the first of its kind in Ireland- as far as I an remember anyway. For those too lazy to click the link (you know who you are) it’s an exhibition of “meticulously dissected” body parts and whole bodies that have been preserved “through an innovate process”. I’m between two minds at the moment as to whether I want to go or not. On the one hand: Biology! Medicine! Getting to see the insides of people! On the other hand: I hate dead things. Refused to “say goodbye” to my grandparents when they were laid out in their coffins. Dead things give me the creeps, which is strange as dead things are the least likely things to cause you any harm (though I’m sure George A. Romero would say differently).

The last week was spend pondering whether I should go or not, and I finally decided yes, yes I would. I’d not eat anything beforehand and set myself up for possibly the creepiest images ever. So now I’m quite looking forward to going, but it will have to be soon, as The Outrage has come to the attention of  some sort of ethics committee. The issue that’s getting people all worked up is that the origins of these bodies are…well, dodgy. Though Premier Exhibitions (the organization running the exhibition) claims all the bodies have documentation, there is speculation that these bodies may be unclaimed missing victims from China, and we all know China’s reputation for human rights. To be honest I have no problem with these bodies being from unclaimed victims, as long as every effort was made to locate the families of the victims. As far as I’m concerned, after death the human body is just a shell, and it would be better for it to be preserved and go to science (though the scientific merits of this exhibition could be debated) that be buried in an unmarked grave and left to rot.

So it looks like I’ll have to be quick in going to see it before it’s pulled by The Outraged Masses. Would it be inappropriate for a nice Valentine’s day stroll? Though If I went one day earlier it would be Friday the 13th…

8 thoughts on “Bodies”

  1. Wouldn’t be very fair to look at the bodies of people, I don’t know, gunned down for saying something bad about the Party.

    When does the exhibition end?

    Valentine’s? That’s just depressing.

  2. I’m totally in favor of display of these bodies which are “claimed” to be donated by the body owner person… >.>
    I mean what’s more interesting than looking at your own insides and LEARNING. I have always been fascinated with human anatomy and the internal workings. It’s absolutely genius (obviously). And if anyone claims that it isn’t right, that’s just damn old fashioned and conservative. It’s life get over it and wonder about the beauty of human organs! (wow, that’s kinda sick). But anyway, yeah being looking forward to this now for a couple of weeks, will hit it on tuesday!

  3. I’m kind of in two minds about it aswell…if I was in Dublin I wouldn’t hesitate to say it, but I would be the first to question the morality of it all. Does that make me hypocritical…?

  4. Totally, Colin. I’d love to go up and check out those dead bodies.

    But if they are the bodies of human rights victims (which sounds really ambiguous), it’s not entirely ethical to put them on display.

  5. I would absolutely love to go up and see this, but I haven’t had the chance. If I lived in Dublin I’d be there as quicker than you can say “Screw the ethics” tbh.

    Look and sounds absolutely amazing! Bit pricey though, €16 for a student ticket like?
    Probably still worth it.

    Go on Valentine’s! What better way to celebrate the HPAT being done than looking at dead people?

  6. Hehe yeah, dunno how happy the boyfriend would be though! We have dinner reservations and we mightn’t be able to make it if we’re too busy feeling queasy after looking at dead bodies!

  7. ethics in this case only come in to question, when the _person_ questioning the ethics believes in an after life or something along the lines of that.

    I think its fascinating to be able to examine a human body in such depth, regardless of whether it nearly made me puke 😛

    If its dead i see nothing wrong with it.

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