The Exhibition Revealing Bodies
The Exploratorium
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Interactive Body
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prosthetic

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Revealing Bodies documented how humankind has inspected and depicted our bodies for scientific and medical purposes over the centuries. The exhibition went a step further to look at how these representations of the body have shaped society—"the social, political, and cultural 'outcomes' of body images," as Project Codirector Melissa Alexander put it. Visitors explored these outcomes through a rich mix of images, models, cultural relics, preserved specimens, art, interactive activities, special programs, and more.

Museum developers carefully chose and juxtaposed the exhibits so they revealed more than just historical trends. The exhibits also exposed interesting, compelling connections, such as how centuries-old images of the body affect our thinking today, or how people from different cultures relate to their bodies differently.

One exhibit, for instance, displayed two prosthetic limbs—one high-tech American device and one rudimentary wooden limb from Cambodia—to illuminate the cultural gulf between the two countries. Prosthetics statistics dramatically underscore this gulf: while diabetes accounts for the biggest proportion of prosthetics use in the United States, landmines are the main culprits in Cambodia.

As visitors moved through Revealing Bodies, they could explore their own bodies with the exhibition's twelve interactive exhibits. These included a magnifying camera that could enlarge a body part of your choice onto the exhibition's walls, and a special instrument that detected body heat.


  Revealing Bodies 2000 The Exploratorium
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