Skip navigation

I love you I want you I need you

Todd McMillan

The words presented in this performance-based video are taken from the title of an early Elvis song. In keeping with McMillan’s interest in endurance, melancholy and the dichotomy of speed alongside slowness, this work comprises an hour-long performance sped-up by splicing to one minute. The video shows the artist mouthing the words ‘I love you. I want you. I need you’.

Instead of simply drawing out and extending these short statements to his desired duration, McMillan’s method was far more labour intensive. He utters the words literally over the course an hour, so the inevitable breathlessness and fatigue are painfully evident. The one-minute effect is a strange and stifled version of  ‘real time’, whose sound and appearance seem neurotic, monotonous and twitchy. We are led to question what becomes of real emotion, of loving, wanting and needing, when their delivery is so explicitly arduous? Although the sentiment of these words seems to have been eroded, both through over-use and McMillan’s stark and faltering delivery, perhaps his physical discomfort reinvests them with the genuine earnestness and meaning they often lack.

0:59 minutes