I had a certain amount of hesitation and trepidation before going to the much publicised exhibition, Bodies, at the Ambassador Theatre at the end of O’Connell Street, where it meets Parnell Street. There has been controversy about the morality of using the bodies of dead Chinese people to put on a show to make money. It seemed like a lack of proper respect but curiosity got the better of me, so I paid my €20 and had an amazing humbling experience.
This show is a wonderful testament to how amazing the human body is and I was gobsmacked by the complexity of bone structure, nerve and muscle patterns and the intricate tracery of blood vessels.
The sections on disease and medical problems are difficult to look at but I found a prostate fascinating to see and I saw diseases that have claimed the lives of friends and family. Parts of the show, and it is a show, are voyeuristic but I never felt any sense of disrespect as I stood before amazing exhibits.
The area on the human foetus was humbling and amazing to see; the size and detail of a foetus, a life (and it did seem like a life) at ten weeks and so on up to twenty weeks and beyond. It was not the sadness that these were dead pre-children that got to me but the amazing, remarkable, almost miracle of life in all its fine rich complicated detail. I was glad to have such an impressive experience.
Outside the venue, I spoke with an elderly lady who had a rosary beads in her hands and she told me she was praying for the dead and thanking God that she had lived to see such a wonderful exhibition about, as she put it, the gift of life.