Douglas Gordon

Play Dead; Real Time

2003
In his video installations, Douglas Gordon aims to alter the conventional relationship between audience and image by playing with the cinematic techniques of duration, doubling and mirroring. For "Play Dead: Real Time", he arranged for Minnie, a young Indian elephant, to be brought to New York City’s spacious Gagosian Gallery, where a professional crew filmed her performing a series of tricks - play dead, stand still, walk around, back up, get up, and beg. Here, Gordon has multiplied her graceful yet lumbering movements on three separate screens, constructing something akin to a trio of performing circus elephants or a giant living sculpture, where the pachyderm is continuously cropped into unfamiliar forms and explored in astonishing detail. In so doing, the artist transposes the kind of spectacle associated with the zoo or circus into the space of the gallery, giving us an opportunity to see the animal with an intimacy and perspective never before available.
Title
Play Dead; Real Time
Date
2003
Medium
Time-Based Media
Materials
3 digital videos, DVD players, 2 video projectors, projection screens, and 1 monitor
Dimensions
installation dimensions variable
Nationality
British
Credit line
Purchased 2003
Accession number
41201.1-3