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‘Little death’ is a literal translation of the French term for orgasm, la petite mort. This work connects the sexual act not only with death, but also with the rhythms of a machine. The reference to castration in the title emphasises the impotence of this inert, broken-down mechanism. The work of the Chapman brothers recalls the disturbing sexual fetishism and fascination with dismemberment of the Surrealists.

August 2004