Douglas Gordon


Tate Britain, London | 13 May 2013 to 29 Sep 2013


United Kingdom

Opening Hours

Sat - Thurs 10:00am - 6:00 pm
Fri 10:00am - 10:00pm


'Play Dead; Real Time' is a multi-screen video projection featuring a four-year-old Indian elephant performing a series of memorised actions – ‘play dead’, ‘stand still’, ‘walk around’, ‘back up’, ‘get up’ and ‘beg’ – on the command of her off-screen trainer. The footage showing is simultaneously presented in a front and a rear life-sized projection and on a monitor, with each one depicting the same event from a range of perspectives.

The viewer is presented with an opportunity to see the animal with a rare intimacy and perspective. For Gordon, 'Play Dead; Real Time' sits between ‘a nature film and a medical documentary, to observe the subject in a way that could be used for a practical purpose but also had a very certain aesthetic. One of the beautiful things about film and video is that it can imbue a sense or sensibility that doesn’t actually physically exist.’

Find out more about Douglas Gordon