Decline and Fall (fnd 013 box, 2003)
Francis Elliott and Cas Serafin
Decline and fall (box) was published November 2002, and debuted at the London
Artists' Bookfair that year. Originally, Elliott and Serafin had intended to stand at
the entrance to Grosvenor Square on Sept. 11th, handing out flags as if collecting
for a Flag Day, but this proved impossible. Instead, they took 3200 flags (one for
every Afghani killed since the invasion) to Grosvenor Square for a rescheduled exhibition
in January the next year; the aim wasn't to be seen, but to find out what would happen.

The Royal Park Authorities were warned; due notice was given to all the major
newspapers, freelance journalists and photographers.

They turned up at midday on a grey Friday in January and proceeded to place over
1000 in front of the embassy before being stopped, searched at gunpoint and told to
remove every flag immediately or else be arrested. The used flags that have survived
various moves have since been placed in Reliquary, a large wicker hamper also
containing an aural history of the day and various bits of ephemera, including a record
of the stop and search taken under the anti-terrorism laws.

Edition of 50, UK, 2003. Printed flags, instruction sheet, box.