Clive Barker's popularity has waned over time, but I think he is still popular among those who love horror. And without having even met the man, I would bet that Clive Barker loves Body Worlds. If you haven't been to a Body Worlds exhibit (or its competitor Bodies...the Exhibition) in a museum in your area don't worry. I'll tell you all about it. Body Worlds is a gallery of real human beings who have undergone plastination, oftentimes skin removed. And everywhere this show goes, it sells out.
The official disclaimer for one exhibit is that all of the bodies were "donated" to science upon their deaths. But there's been questions regarding the dubious origins of some, perhaps adding to the horror and thereby the experience? I'll let you decide. Some cadavers were traced to a Russian medical examiner convicted of illegally selling the bodies of homeless people, prisoners, and indigent hospital patients. Some simply are "unclaimed" bodies from Chinese medical schools, meaning that they weren't donated willingly. Either way, my feelings toward the exhibits billed for their "scientific contribution" wasn't really so much that I learned anything spectacular (although anatomy is certainly on display). Rather, it's that I felt like a participant in a certain kind of capitalist excess. I mean...what kind of society plasticizes dubiously attained cadavers and then sells tickets hand over fist to gawking crowds? And why are there gawking crowds to begin with? Is it because we all desire to be horrified? Maybe it's that our society is so clean that seeing a dead body is a rarity. In a way, we've kind of sterilized the process of dying so that it takes place behind closed doors, sparing all of us the horrors of dealing with a corpse.
The writer in me can't help but create a scary fiction around these exhibits. A man who has grown rich and successful from his art gallery of plasticized cadavers is a serial killer by night. He stalks those that attract his attention while visiting his gallery. Later, he makes an excuse to meet them, slips them a drug in a drink, and they wake up just as he starts the process to turn them into one of his masterpieces. He does his work in a soundproof room somewhere under his gallery where he can take his time with his victims...it gives me the shivers just thinking about it.
|These are a pair of huge statues that offer many photo ops for tourists visiting|
Universal Studios Japan's new Attack on Titan theme park.
|This Attack on Titan Ride at Universal Studios Japan|