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Todd McMillan

Author 
Andrew Frost

Todd McMillan’s work draws its inspiration from the history of Romanticism in Western art. His videos combine humour and pathos with references to images from art history, to pop music and to Hollywood cinema. In After the Mist [2007] McMillan quotes Caspar David Friedrich’s epic painting Wanderer above the Mist [1818] drawing comic parallels between the Romantic artist’s self portrait as a man contemplating the sublimity and vastness of nature with McMillan’s own self image as a figure pointlessly hitting golf balls down a driving range in Germany. A trio of video works — Go on, Go on, again, and Again, and again [Again] [each 2007] — sought to conflate references to the writings of Samuel Beckett, the films Double Indemnity [1947] and Spoorloos [1988, a.k.a. The Vanishing] into vignettes that depicted the artist in a series of repetitive actions – walking up stairs, wandering in bush land, ambling through a tunnel – all performed on crutches and with a leg in plaster. 

McMillan’s earlier video By The Sea [2004] testified to his obsession with Friedrich’s painting and the lengths that to which he would go to emulate it. For By The Sea, McMillan stood for 12 hours on a cliff top facing out to sea, the camera recording the event, then compressing the action to 1 minute of screen time. In place of the windswept romanticism of Friedrich, McMillan’s video depicted the pain and discomfort of emulating a near-impossible gesture.  McMillan has explored aspects of the durational performance. 

 

 

Date 
b. 1979
Birth place
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Selected works
Selected events