Littlewhitehead is the artistic persona of Craig Little (b. 1980, Glasgow) and Blake Whitehead (b. 1985, Lanark). In 2012 they created the fictional being the Overman, a bearded middle aged man with the torso of a child. The absurd combination makes reference to and undermines Friedrich Nietzsche’s theory of the Ubermensch. Nietzsche’s Ubermensch is seen as a cynical and inflated version of man without any illusions, for whom god is dead and who substitutes his own will for belief in god in order to make sense of the world. Along with reference to the ironic, pseudo-anthropological short film The Perfect Humam by Danish filmmaker Jorgen Leth and to Virtruvius’s notes on the ideal human proportions, the Overman satirises the idea of human perfection.
Littlewhitehead decided to create the fictitious man by emulating the tactics of the age: the twenty-first century is a time when people create heightened versions of their own identity for consumption through social media. This in turn creates an ethereal, digital space filled entirely with undead idealised identities. Not only is the Overman an actual undead identity, he also exists in this ethereal digital space, as central to his being is his diary, a series of absurd notes, drawings and stories that are published intermittently on his online blog. His shared experiences and musings often express certain ontological anxieties and existential absurdities. Thus the Overman allows littlewhitehead to play in an area between reality and unreality, to express their own fears and anxieties whilst also commenting on contemporary culture.