Body Worlds: Seeing Life Beneath The Skin

As many people close to me know, I am a huge fan of anything out of the ordinary, and frankly, weird - so when I saw the Body Worlds Exhibition advertised in Piccadilly Circus I was straight to work on planning my trip.

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This museum is not for the faint hearted as it is debatably controversial in its showcasing of real human cadavers. The nature of them once belonging to living people combined with their bold choice of positioning admittedly even made me question my positionality as a viewer - challenging my relationship with the arguably objectified human bodies I was encountering. 

I must admit that at first there was some apprehension and nervey sickness on my part as it dawned on me that it was real bodies that were alive once upon a time that I was about to see. But, an interesting connotation that I read by Durbach reconciled my doubts. 

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‘Body Worlds...does not promote the construction of one’s own identity in relationship to ‘the Other,’ but rather appears to provide access to bodies that are intended to stand in for the Self.’ 

I did find this to be true. I was not so much looking at the body as a dead person, but rather transcending myself onto the body as I learned about stress, smoking, laughter, disease etc. and their effects on the body. Not only this but it creates a reality within the body that one can overlook on a day-to-day basis. There are things that we do to our body that are harmful to our insides and we do it anyway. Whether we do so knowingly or blissfully unaware, the reality of the human material representation gives it an authority that showcases these harms in a very impactful way.  It was so fascinating, and something I feel that you only understand once you have been. 

I challenge anyone to give this museum a go as it really is like nothing I have ever seen before. It is provocative, incredibly educational and mesmerising. 

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For more information check out the website at:

Or visit the exhibition:


1 Piccadilly Circus 

London, W1J 0DA

A similar exhibition will also be appearing in City Hall, Bristol starting July 2019.

Check out its Facebook Event: ‘Real Human Bodies Exhibition Bristol’.

Becki ParkerComment