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Todd McMillan

b. 1979
New South Wales

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. 



Andrew Frost
Birth place
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Other solo exhibitions 

Selected solo exhibitionsLet down, GrantPirrie, Sydney, 2007. Alone, Alone, GrantPirrie, Sydney, 2006. Study for a drowning man, Artbox, Sherman Galleries, Sydney. Big Boy Blues, MOP, Sydney, 2005.  By The Sea, Francis Baker-Smith, Sydney, 2005. Patrick Swann Presents: the Best of Patrick Swann’s Greatest Hits - until Now, Volume 1, Francis Baker-Smith, Sydney.

Other group exhibitions 

Selected group exhibitions: Ill Communication, Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces, Melbourne.New Acquisitions 2007, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Portal, GrantPirrie, Sydney. Albury National Photographic Prize, Albury, N.S.W., The one and the many, DELL gallery, Queensland, 2007.Projector, Four, Dublin, Ireland, Play: Special Edition – Video Art from Australia, Vienna, Helen Lempriere Travelling Art Scholarship, Artspace, Sydney [winner], 2006..

Selected publications: Alone Alone, Runway, Issue 7, October 2006. Identity Crisis, The Weekend Australian, April 8th – 9th, 2006. Open Gallery, The Sydney Morning Herald: January 14th – 15th 2006, Rachel Kent, Pun to paradox: Bas Jan Ader revisited, Parkett #75, 2006.