Cold Breath is a film of enormous intimacy and intensity. Steve McQueen filmed himself touching his own body—his actions switching between the erotic and the painful—in what may also be seen as a narcissistic experiment. McQueen’s films revolve around extreme physicality; his precisely specified installations place viewers in a physical relationship with the bodies he films. Unpleasant, voyeuristic, exhilarating, excruciating, erotic—these sensations may overlap with one another as one watches the film. As in many of his other pieces, McQueen deploys his own body autobiographically and uses it to circle around questions of identity, racial and social conventions, of compulsions and taboos.