The John P. McGovern Museum of Health and Medical Science in Houston has a new exhibit that might tickle the fancy of those who don’t consider themselves traditional museum-goers. As reported by ABC 13, visitors to the museum can try on skin suits molded from the bodies of real people by artist Sarah Sitkin. The exhibit, titled Bodysuits, contains replicas that are so detailed that they contain freckles, scars, and hair.
The Health Museum’s website says that the Bodysuits exhibit is part of a larger collection titled Body As a Work of Art, which is an “interactive multimedia exploration of how society imposes external concepts of beauty.”
“Body as a Work of Art empowers individuals to acknowledge the beauty of the human body – and their own body. Ultimately, each person walks away with a fresh perspective, free of society’s preconceived notions of beauty,” states the website.
The skin suits are reportedly created from direct silicone molds of real human bodies by skilled artists under the direction of Sitkin, who hails from Los Angeles. Each separate suit is lined with a different variety of fabrics and materials to create an individual experience for museum-goers who participate in the exhibit. The idea is to have the effect of ” stepping into someone else’s skin.”
Other exhibits in the Body as a Work of Art event will include artistic microscopic photos of diseased cells, dresses that have been designed by inspiration from these diseased cell images, and a photographic portrait exhibition which focuses on people who have genetic conditions. There are many more exhibits that include sculptures, photography, and interactive timelines. All aspects of the Body as a Work of Art exhibit seek to challenge traditional ways of thinking about beauty, disease, and the human body through artistic interpretation. While all portions of the exhibit sound interesting, surely Bodysuits will be a hit.
In March, Bodysuits appeared in LA at the Superchief Gallery, reported Juxtapoz Magazine. Apparently, at the LA viewing, Sitkin explained that she came up for the idea of the exhibit from her grandmother.
“The concept for this show was born when my grandmother asked me to make a mold of her toes. This led to a specific conversation about the physical attributes we personally remain insecure about…Bodysuits is a reminder of our impending mortality, allowing us to experience another’s being with curiosity and empathy, remembering our skins are not the self.”
The Bodysuits exhibit began in Houston on August 20 and will run through January 11, 2019. The number of fitting sessions is limited and those who wish to try on skin suits must register ahead of time on the museum’s website.