Journalism Streeter: BODIES…The Exhibition

Preserved and dissected human bodies set up for display for the amusement of those who pay admission; it may sound like something out of a horror movie but it’s BODIES…The Exhibition.  Starting today, September 17, 2010 at the MTS Centre Exhibition Hall, and continuing for a limited engagement here in Winnipeg until January 2011. 

The exhibit has received a mixed reception.  “[I’m] disgusted,” Chris Porcaylo, 39, said.  He felt that the exhibition was in bad taste.  “These people didn’t give their permission to be there.”  He explained that it was “interesting” but he wouldn’t attend the exhibit. 

“I’d feel more comfortable if the bodies were donated,” says Michael Kowalson, 40.

“I think most people that have gone to see it will think it’s good,” said Jillian Austin, reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press, “if they think it’s a really bad thing they’re not going to check it out.”

So why did BODIES…The Exhibition choose to use real human beings instead of plastic model representations?

The website says: “Unlike models that idealize the body through the eyes of an artist, the specimens in this Exhibition will show the body and its parts as they really exist. Idealized models have been used for many years to teach about the body. They do not, however, allow for any variation in structure or pathologies – which is key in noting how unique our bodies are.”

 “Seeing promotes understanding and understanding promotes the most practical kind of body education possible,” says Dr. Roy Glover, the Medical Director of BODIES…The Exhibition on the website.

The website promotes visits from students and educators and offers information on planning field trips to the exhibition as well as group rates.

The exhibition runs Monday through Sunday and is open 10AM – 8PM. It is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, Good Friday and Easter.

BODIES…The Exhibition is a touring exhibit that is also appearing in other cities across the United States and Canada.

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