Posted by: kenwbudd | June 23, 2011

Man as Industrial Palace: Famous 1926 Lithograph Brought to Life

In 1926, Fritz Kahn, a German gynecologist and anatomy textbook author, produced a lithograph called Der Mensch als Industriepalast (Man as Industrial Palace) that depicted the human body as a factory (see here), a chemical plant of sorts.

Kahn’s body came complete with mechanical lungs, a rock-sorting stomach, gears for a throat, and a switchboard for a brain, and it illustrated rather metaphorically the degree to which industrialization had taken over Western life, creating deep anxiety for some and curiosity for others.

More than eighty years later, Henning Lederer, a German artist, has brought Kahn’s mechanical body to life with some gifted animation. This dynamic version is currently on display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art as part of the “Health for Sale” exhibition.

To learn more about Lederer’s project, you will want to spend more time on IndustriePalast.com and particularly with this helpful PDF. Other animation by Lederer appears on Vimeo. Many thanks to Elliot for sending this along.

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