Bag made with "ethically sourced" human child's spine

I can honestly say I never knew we had that phrase.

7 Likes

Because it has never occurred to anybody that we could possibly need a law against making fashion accessories out of dead children.

3 Likes

You do now. You’re welcome, cobber.

5 Likes

No. they were able to get it for a song from a museum.

3 Likes

It’s not exactly a new concept. We’ve found paleolithic flutes and tools made from human bones. The kapala (skull bowl) and kangling (bone flute) are regularly used in Hindu and Tibetan Buddhist ritual. There are dozens of beautiful ossuaries all across Europe. The Body Worlds exhibit has almost two dozen installations and traveling exhibitions featuring corpses turned into sculpture and teaching displays. There’s literally hundreds of private collections like the Mutter Museum all over the world which include preserved human remains and items made from them.

I’ve even looked into leaving my skull to someone. It’s not exactly legal, which sort of disapoints me- I mean, it’s my skull. I don’t see why I shouldn’t be allowed to say what happens to it.

I do think it’s important where the remains come from, but I can’t help wonder how many people being shocked and offended by this have tourist photos of themselves at Body Worlds, the Mutter, or Paris Catacombs- And why this should be different.

edit: I mean, didn’t we literally JUST cover that?

1 Like

For me the difference is that the bag is a consumer object, while all other examples you mentioned are not. For me it’s distasteful for the very same reason that other examples are awesome. The remains carry history of a person they were part of and feel like something that shouldn’t be treated lightly while a luxury consumer object is meant to be bought by some celebrity, carried around and thrown away.

I think it definitely should be legal. The procedures around human remains are way too strict in many countries. I was formerly a scientist specializing in biomechanics and it made many important areas of research impossible to pursue. Colleagues who did such such research had to go to France to be able to do so.

And on the topic of musical instruments made of human bones:

2 Likes

I’m sure Frau Koch believed her lampshades and shrunken heads to be ethically sourced, too. After all, it was from a camp set up under german law, so perfectly legal… /s

5 Likes

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/jonathanjonesblog/2013/nov/18/st-peters-bones-christian-relics

You’re right. The Body Works exhibit was just as dubious.

The police should have been checking the artists basement for missing people.

Turning people into things should raise questions about the people who want to do so.

5 Likes

Iirc didn’t some of the Body Worlds’ corpses turn out to be pretty damned unethically sourced?

6 Likes

I don’t know - but I wouldn’t be surprised.

1 Like

Political prisoners from China, but hey, perfectly legal, so ethically sourced, right? /s

8 Likes

After the kidneys and corneas were “harvested”, of course.

7 Likes

Rich white people can make better use of them than political dissidents, after all… /s

5 Likes

I got the impression that that was the very thing the artist intended to evoke.

Doesn’t mean it isn’t shitty. One can’t justify one’s action by saying “but I’m an artist!” and expect to get a pass on those grounds. It’s just another means of denying responsibility.

4 Likes

People said the same thing about Monty Python. And Franz Liszt, Judy Chicago, Ai Weiwei, Robert Maplethorpe, Lenny Bruce, George Carlin, Elvis, hell- The ruckus Michaelangelo caused with the Last Judgement was epic even by modern standards.

We can’t all be Thomas Kinkade.

We don’t all have to defend using contemporary child parts as fucking fashion accessories either.

8 Likes

None of them used a child’s spine to make a fucking handbag. (jinx @Tamsin_Bailey :cup_with_straw:)

Yes, we can make value judgements on art and not be boring uptight prudes. Art doesn’t have to be amoral to be challenging either.

8 Likes