The smell of deep space, as reported by those who have experienced it, is a distinct acrid (near metallic) odor. Astronauts who have walked on the moon say it smells faintly of gunpowder. Giant gas clouds in deep space are known to be filled with ethyl formate, the molecules that give raspberries and rum their distinct smell. These smells, in the form of homemade incense, create the aromatic environment for Threadgill’s newest body of work that entangles notions of frontier, dominion, escapism, and freedom.
The resulting objects appear as effigies, monuments or artifacts to historical narratives driven by these types of aspirations. In these works, Threadgill hones in on base ingredients (materials, images and patterns) sourced from the economic, political and social forces that surrounded and drove these impulses.
Brendan Threadgill lives and works in Los Angeles. His work has been exhibited at The Suburban in Chicago; Steven Turner, Samuel Freeman, LAX and The Control Room in Los Angeles. Threadgill’s published writings include Mohamed Atta’s Plan Obus (artUS, 2005) and Utopian Bunker Builders and the Esoteric Roots of Brutalist Architecture (Motherwell, 2008). Threadgill holds an M.F.A. in Photography and Media from California Institute of the Arts and a B.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He received a Fulbright Fellowship in 2004-2005.