Chicago Art Review


MiniReview: Brennan McGaffey, Fire & Judgment by Steve Ruiz
December 7, 2009, 7:12 pm
Filed under: MiniReview

Last Wednesday I drove in the middle of a rainy night to a place I’d never been before, parked in a gravel lot, and descended a staircase into a basement to see Brennan McGaffey‘s Fire and Judgment purging event. A model of the KC-135 Stratotanker occupied most of the basement, sitting on sawhorses, connected at nine points to propane tanks, and spouting nine jets of flame burning blue and yellow. The air inside was warm and thick with the fuel’s sweet ethanethiol smell, and despite the twenty or so others standing around the display the room was silent except for the steadily fluttering flames. Given the circumstantial trappings of a secret society – the invitations, the general secrecy, the time and place and community – it is surprising that the event had basically zero political attachments, real or imagined; I felt instead like I’d been allowed in to witness some ritual, the revealing of some mystery, and stared quietly entranced, inhaling gas.

Brennan McGaffey, Fire & Judgment

Brennan McGaffey, Fire & Judgment

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