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Cadaver Art?

April 20, 2013

In 1970, John Baldessari wanted to display a human cadaver behind a peep-hole. The body would be presented in the same way as it was in Andrea Mantegna's painting "The Lamentation over the Dead Christ" (pictured above). However, because of legal restrictions he could not. In 20011, Hans Ulrich Obrist and Klaus Biesenbach the directors of London's Serpentine Gallery and MoMA PS1 tried to bring back the concept for the Manchester International Festival, "11 Rooms." Despite their efforts, after consulting experts in pathology, medical ethics and the law, they were not able to bring this idea to life. Instead of displaying a cadaver, Obrist and Biesenbach displayed all of the correspondence they had while trying to obtain permission for this project. In order to have an exhibit with a cadaver, the artist would need the consent of the person before they die, the consent of the family and legal authorization. Is the law right in preventing human cadavers from being part of an art exhibit or is the law being too sensitive? I would not want to go to a gallery and see a dead body on display, and I think that using cadavers is going a little overboard. It almost seems like Baldessari, Obrist and Biesenbach want to use cadavers to shock people for the sake of shocking them and proving that they can use cadavers. To me, the idea of using human cadavers in art is repulsive, but at the same time I'm not sure if there is a difference between using a cadaver for art and using it for science. Information from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/18/john-baldessari-cadaver-art-project-artist-1970-concept-may-come-true_n_3108167.html?utm_hp_ref=weird-news&ir=Weird%20News#slide=1119489 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/art/art-reviews/8630914/11-Rooms-Manchester-International-Festival-review.html

 

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