DECAY THEORY

DECAY THEORY, 2020, inkjet textile print, aluminium, 4.5x3m (total)

Installation image: We’ve Been Sent A Strange Sign at Landskrona Foto Festival, Sweden, 2020.

Photo: Björn Engberg

DECAY THEORY (still), 2020, (00:01:00), looped, single-channel video.

DECAY THEORY, 2020, inkjet textile print, aluminium, 4.5x3m (total)

Installation image: Group Show 2, Vulkano, Göteborg, 2020. 

DECAY THEORY

Decay Theory is a body of work informed by the Swedish sugar experiments carried out between 1945-1954 at Vipeholm Hospital in southern Sweden. The mixture of archival imagery and Littlewood’s own studio photography examines new visual possibilities, where the artist creates a recontextualised archive of teeth and the mouth. The image of the face is iconic to the DECAY THEORY project, standing in as a symbol for the patients at Vipeholm who were subjected to treatments that they could not consent to verbally. 

The viewer may be unsure if the eyeless visage is blindly smiling or screaming. In the one-minute film, DECAY THEORY, the banner moves silently in the wind, attached to the Valand Academy building in the inner courtyard. The banner was physically placed back onto the institution, as a comment on the closure of art schools, due to COVID-19.


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