Becky Slemmons

TITLE: Untitled
DATE: 2013
MEDIUM: bone, human hair, glue, fabric
DIMENSIONS/RUN TIME: 2 1/2″ x 1/2″ x 3/8″
DESCRIPTION/STATEMENT: True story: I once worked as a medical illustrator, creating visual evidence for medical court cases—drawings, charts and graphs that educated the jury on the pivotal points of each trial. One such case involved a traveling salesman, long deceased and buried. Cause of death: slow dosed arsenic poisoning, dropped into his food, meal by meal. The purpose of the trial was to answer this question: Did his wife do it? And how to prove or disprove this?
1) For starts, dig up salesman’s tired bones. Harvest a strand of head hair.
2) Chop hair into ordered pieces. Analyze sections of hair for arsenic content. See, arsenic is excreted via growing hair shafts; over time, any ingested arsenic shows up in strands of hair, chronologically.
3) Estimate poison dosage dates based on hair growth rate. During the dosage spikes, was our unfortunate salesman out of town? Or was he home, eating food lovingly prepared by his wife? And alas, I end here, one step away from a Scooby snack.