A good stiff screwing outrages the church and politicians

A good stiff screwing outrages the church and politicians May 8, 2009

CHURCH leaders have never been happy with the works of controversial German anatomist Gunther von Hagens – and his latest exhibition in Berlin, Cycle of Life – has upset them even further, according to the Guardian.
For it features a couple of cadavers in full coital mode.

Von Hagens' copulating corpses
Von Hagens' copulating corpses
When von Hagens took his earlier Body Worlds exhibition to Manchester in February 2008, Anglican bishop Nigel McCulloch was reported here as saying:

My concern is that the bodies of people who have lived lives, some of whom, I suspect, with quite a bit of suffering, are simply being used effectively for a kind of freaky horror show.

What he’d make of von Hagen’s latest copulating corpses exhibit is anyone’s guess.
The Berlin show, which opened on Thursday, has already drawn fire from a cross-party group of politicians and the church. They have called for the work to be withdrawn, saying it is pornographic and an insult to the dead.
Alice Ströver, an MP for the Green party, said:

This couple is simply over the top, and it shouldn’t be shown.

Fritz Felgentreu an MP for the Social Democrats, added:

Love and death are obvious topics for art, but I find it quite disgusting to use them in this way.

But von Hagens defended the exhibit, saying that it combines the two greatest taboos of sex and death, and is a lesson in biology. It is “not meant to be sexually stimulating”.
The man and woman consented to appear in a sexual pose, Von Hagens said.
But Mediawatchwatch points out that:

Von Hagens has admitted that they had never met in life. This is casual corpse sex, people! No wonder the churches are upset.

Von Hagens developed his plastination method for preserving bodies several years ago after discovering a method for preserving bodies by replacing their fat and water deposits with injections of silicon, which then harden.

Gunther von Hagen, with another of his exhibits
Gunther von Hagen, with another of his exhibits
His popular exhibitions, which have travelled the world, have included corpses playing chess, high jumping, and horse riding. Others have shown a dead pregnant woman and foetuses at various stages of development.
In 1983, Catholic Church figures, according to this report, asked von Hagens to plastinate the heel bone of St Hildegard of Bingen, (1090-1179), a beatified mystic, theologian, and writer revered in Germany.
His later offer to perform plastination on Pope John Paul II foundered before any serious discussions could take place.
If he is permitted to plastinate the present Pope when he finally turns up his toes, can I have Ratzi’s ears for ashtrays? Please!


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  • Perfectly OK of course to have the bleeding emaciated figure of Jesus nailed to a cross in depictions which, particularly around RC Churches, are scarily realistic. The agony has to be piled on in pictures and decriptions to justify and terrify children, and later adults, into the belief that they owe Jesus bigtime – via Ratty and his priests, of course.

  • Norman Lycan

    I believe that's the reverse cowgirl position. I prefer my porno with skin on, at least pretending to be participating. That particular shot is at best R rated, unless you can confirm that the one on top was correctly identified as female.
    Not my cup of tea, I like doggie and missionary from participant perspective (smile).
    NL

  • Brian Jordan

    Of course his offer to plastinate PJP2 foundered – the old fool was putting his (well, his congregation's) money on a head transplant. Hence his support for experiments on transplanting monkeys' heads. It worked in the end though – they got Ratty!

  • Disgusting.
    I at least hope they are Married!!

  • Who said romance is dead?

  • Top guy looks a touch elderly. Do they have Viagra there?

  • Stuart H.

    Barry, your idea about Ratzinger's ears causes me to set an environmental challenge to the Catholic church (and in the process recycle an old Yorkshire joke).
    If they're serious about the environment, perhaps Ratzinger could show an example by agreeing to be buried face down outside the Vatican with his backside exposed to the world. He's no use to anyone while he's alive, but at least cyclists could then use his bum as a bike rack.

  • Nathanael

    And once again sex is the reason why religious bigots want to have something cencored. It can't be the corpses, as christianity worships death. But dead people fucking? No, that sounds like someone could have fun! Oh, and It's not missionary position, AND they definitely won't be able to give birth to a child, so it's dirty.

  • The Val

    I can help but laugh at the statement, "…an insult to the dead."
    How do you insult the dead? They're dead. Unless they're undead, in which case we're all in trouble because usually the only 'emotion' the undead has is hunger for brains – and evidently a bit of sex in between years of decay.

  • Norman Lycan

    Death is only humorous to those who come to grips with it. Fundies think that unlike all other animals on the planet, death can be escaped. But, the real irony is that the dream of true love and the Ozzie and Harriet idea of raising a family is a joyous trip through happiness is a cruel lie that nature played on us while we were thinking with our hormones.
    Cruel but vital, otherwise the species would not have survived. I'll watch and enjoy as "Romeo and Juliet" turn it into something magical and beautiful, but what it really is, hormones using desire for self satisfaction to perpetuate the species. But, dead people are disqualified from the game.
    NL

  • What about all those dead 'saints' and their dessicated corpses the RCC loves to parade through streets at various times of the year?; not to mention the many shrivelled up body parts of long dead martyrs they love to worship and put inside boxes for the religiously stupid to venerate? So now all of a sudden they don't like people looking at dead people…sheesh…yet another case of religious hypocrisy.

  • "Religious" people NEVER have sex, as any fule kno – their offspring arrive by parthenogenesis! (AND they have a bloody lot of them as well!!)

  • Nick

    Ok, one thing I really need to point out. They are NOT having sex!! That is an act reserved for the living which involves blood flow to sexual organs, rhythmic movement and hopefully climax for both parties.
    And even if they are having sex, there are far more graphic depictions available through TV and a whole host of websites…so I've heard.
    These exhibits are fascinating, having been to one myself several year ago. It's the old 'immoral' arguement about people's bodies being 'sacred' somehow. We are all just pieces of meat, be it living or dead, and there is no 'soul' or any other presence that can be disturbed by using the bodies in this way. In any other circumstance they'd be burnt to cinders or left to rot in the ground, with lots of religious piety (sp?) to go with it.
    They're dead, so they don't know what's going on with their bodies, and they consented, so they don;t mind anyway.

  • KFW

    I totally agree with Nick. I'm signed up as a body donor for plastination, and this one 'piece of meat' that would love to be on display for the living to gawk at in a future exhibit. I fully consent, as my plastinated former "self" can serve as a educational tool. Frankly, I would be honored to be one of the males in a future pair of copulating plastinates (folks: it's just a simulation), and inspire discussion on topics like STDs, teenage pregancy, and sexual responsibility — a fantastic way to exit this world.

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  • Kevin Adams

    The DEAD SEX COUPLE are coming to London! I have heard that they arrive next week.

  • Parkerman

    I think this work is fascinating and all good art and exhibits cause controversy. Even the remains brought up from the Titanic some say should have been left as a tomb. The sould of these people have long gone and they left their full consent. These bosies are simply placed in a position dipicting sex, they are not having sex. big difference.