Part title

Elephants [Click here for an extract]


Part identifier


Part type

Electronic, digital and audio visual elements

Part creator

Layzell, Richard

Part medium


Part description

Elephants was a collaborative piece directed by Noel Harding during 1983 at Sony Studio, Toronto, Canada. Noel had seen Richard perform in Toronto and was keen to work with him. The deflation of the inflatable airplane referred to the shooting down of a Korean airliner by Soviet forces in September 1983.

Notably, Noel selected a professional makeup artist to assist on Elephants. Richard felt exploited by this collaboration, stating that "this is not really my piece but it is my performance, for his piece". Later he discovered that this short video had won awards, which he had not been told about. Richard's inclusion of this clip in I Never Done Enough Weird Stuff was an attempt to reclaim his work in it and he specifically selected the section of Elephants that foregrounds his own performance. At the point when Elephants is shown within I Never Done Enough Weird Stuff, Richard feels the use of video had become excessive.

Here is the description of this work from the Netherlands Media Art Institute collection catalogue:

"Elephants is a pastiche on a TV commercial for an airline. The actor Richard Layzell blows up a plastic inflatable plane against a background of billowing clouds. Then this plane turns up in the railings of a zoo to be confronted with a real elephant. The meeting of two ‘jumbo’s’. 1983, 6'05'' (sound, colour). Collection: Netherlands Media Art Institute". http://catalogue.montevideo.nl


Description compiled via interview with Richard Layzell, University of Bristol, 2008.

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