Douglas Gordon

Play Dead Real Time

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About this artwork

This silent video installation is comprised of two large projection screens and a floor-based monitor. The screens and monitor display footage of Minnie: a four-year-old circus elephant performing a series of tricks such as standing still, playing dead and begging. On the screens, arranged perpendicular to one another, the camera circles the life-size elephant clockwise on one screen and anti-clockwise on the other. The footage on the monitor zooms in and out of Minnie, beginning with a close-up on the eye. By separating this image in this way, Gordon has managed to make us feel the mysterious relationship that exists between mind and body – the mind of the elephant and its huge body.

Updated before 2020

  • artist:
  • title:
    Play Dead Real Time
  • date created:
    2003
  • materials:
    Video, 2 projections and 1 monitor, colour, 21 minutes and 11 minutes
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Lent by Artist Rooms Foundation 2012
  • accession number:
    AL00339
  • gallery:
  • glossary:
This artwork is part of Artist Rooms
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Douglas Gordon

Douglas Gordon