Cold Breath


Installation for 16mm film projection and DVD monitor display

Video (loop): 18min. 1sec.

A highly intense film, Cold Breath immerses the viewer in a deeply sensitive experience. Accompanied by a sound track consisting of breathing noises, the film penetrates into Steve McQueen's intimacy, the artist being filmed in close-up as he relentlessly fiddles with his nipple. The video of this narcissistic act lasts 18 minutes and conjures the notions of both pleasure and pain.

Steve McQueen's extreme carnal representations signal an ambiguous physical relationship between viewers and the filmed bodies: feelings of embarrassment, voyeurism, thrill, torment and eroticism come up as the images appear, second after second, terrible and gripping. This autobiographical framework is recurrent in the work of this artist who uses his own body to question identity, social and racial conventions, obsessions, and taboos.

Realized by Steve McQueen, the video Cold Breath was first shown by the Pinault Collection in the exhibition Dancing With Myself at the Museum Folkwang in Essen (2016).
Steve Mcqueen's other artwork