James Lee Byars described his installation Byars is Elephant as a self-portrait. He came up with the idea during the last years of his life, which he spent in Egypt, in the shadow of the pyramids. The solemn room is wrapped in a glimmering gold lamé fabric. In such a space, we would expect to find a precious object but Byars placed in it a tall pedestal topped by an enormous sphere made from intertwined camel skins. This knot becomes a mysterious object to venerate, and symbolises a problem with a very complicated solution. It symbolises our lives, which we love above all else, despite the complications they presents us.