Gunther von hagens’ Body Worlds: ‘Pulse’ – Getting to Know Your Body Inside Out
Feeling somewhat uneasy we were standing in front of the California Science Center recently, ready to enter Gunther von Hagens’ Body Worlds exhibition “PULSE”. We have prepared ourselves well and read almost anything available out there about the show, about Gunther von Hagens, his plastination process and about the process of putting the show together here at the CaliforniaScienceCenter.
Since we had our teenage son with us we wanted to make sure that he as well as us completely understood what we were about to experience. My husband in fact was very hesitant at first about bringing him along since the show’s displays contain bodies of deceased humans that went through Gunther von Hagens invented preservation process called plastination.
All our worries however were put to rest very quickly upon entering this amazing show.
Gunther von Hagen’s Body Worlds PULSE – an incredible journey through your body
Right at the beginning of the show you are greeted by a movie that totally hit home with us.It demonstrates how our busy lives have a profound effect on the quality of our lives, making us receptive to all kinds of modern diseases: high blood pressure, obesity, depression, you name it. Too much stimulation and an overload of information that we modern human beings are constantly exposed to puts our modern life under a lot of stress and finally at risk. The speed that forces us to do more, better and faster becomes increasingly more inhuman.
This movie is the preamble to a rewarding show that explains in detail what is essential for us to keep our bodies healthy and functional. Ultimately it encourages us to think about how we can develop a healthier pace of life for ourselves.
Impressive displays, exceptional information and in-depth videos guide you along the journey through your body.
The entrance to the various displays starts with one of Gunther von Hagens plastinated bodies holding his skin folded over his arm like an overcoat. Info boards teach you about the skin being our heaviest and largest organ that has vital functions. Next the visitor learns about the skeleton and sees first hand how fractures, implants and prostheses look like. As you move along “through the body” you’ll learn about the central nervous system and see stunning displays.
In one von Hagen isolated a whole body’s central and peripheral nervous system and instead of a traditional skeleton one sees a “skeleton of nerves”. Amazing!
The various muscles in our bodies are a topic of one section, other sections are dedicated to each of our organs, to nutrition and to the demonstration of what certain diseases do to our body. From heart to intestines to liver and lung and more… you get to know your body inside out!
A big section is dedicated to the heart explaining its difficult and intensive job. With the help of videos and informational boards we learn how a heart attack builds up within our body far before it actually happens.
The impact of smoking is impressively presented with a shockingly pitch black smokers lung on display that looks like a lava rock. This particular display like so many others certainly make you think about how you are treating your own body and how it may look like if exposed like these displays.
Speaking about the displays. Our initial worry was about our reaction to the plastinated bodies. Gunther van Hagens’ invention of preserving the human body and his quite artistic displays have been quite controversial for years. Many were initially appalled just by the pure fact that these displays were actually showing deceased humans.
We found that the whole show including the displays were put together and presented very esthetically. We were intrigued and captivated throughout. I can’t think of any other exhibit that brings you in such close encounter with your own body. We were awed and so were many other visitors we observed. From families with much younger children than our son, to a group of doctors, who were teaching their college class right on site.
In conclusion I can only say that we were absorbed by this exhibition and didn’t feel time going by. There was so much to see, explore and learn!
Body Worlds: PULSE is on display at the CaliforniaScienceCenter through February 20, 2018 .