Monday Series: Constructing the Naked (Social) Body V


The Transparent Man stands upon a platform, looking upwards to the sky, his arm erected towards the air, as if he’s immersing himself in the light of the sun. He was first unveiled to the public in 1930, a proud recognition of the German hygiene movements. In his transparency, the Transparent Man signifies the progressive advancement of German bacteriology, anatomy, and general medicine; his vivid blood vessels traces the complicated and interwoven paths of the German cultural revivals and political ideologies, the frustrations and progressions of the elite and working classes, and the hope of a nation to resurrect itself to its former glory. In his openness, he also bears the mark of Nacktkultur, never hidden or exposed. Through his muscles, he shows his Herculean spirit, never forgotten, never ignored. He would teach his fellow Germans the necessity of proper hygiene rituals, and he would come to symbolize with growing pride, the advancement of German culture and exhibitions. Then the Nazis would come and tear the German nation again; but the Transparent Man will still remain, his arms proudly raised to the sky, basking into the ideology of licht, luft, sonne.

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