Jeremy Blake and Theresa Duncan
January 1, 2008 § 9 Comments
(Photo: Dario Robleto)
“When Theresa Duncan, 40, took her own life on July 10, 2007, followed a week later by her boyfriend, Jeremy Blake, 35, their friends were stunned and the press was fascinated: what had destroyed this glamorous couple, stars of New York’s multi-media art world, still madly in love after 12 years?” –The Golden Suicides, Vanity Fair
I couldn’t help but become completely enveloped by this article after reading that first sentence — it’s a complicated, confusing, and heartbreaking story. Theresa Duncan was a video game designer; Jeremy Blake was an artist; their lives over 12 years would intersect with Fugazi, David Sedaris, Bikini Kill, and Beck; I’m boiling this down to its core, but the bottom line is, somehow, it seems, they went mad. The day after I read this article, Scott and I went to the Corcoran to see an Annie Leibovitz only to discover Wild Choir, an ongoing exhibition by Jeremy Blake, and I’ve been soaking in their story ever since. If you read the article and then, like me, want to know more, see more, and more:
—A long NY Mag article about the pair, written shortly after their deaths (along with some amazing photographs; to say they were photogenic is an understatement).
—Theresa Duncan’s personal blog, The Wit of the Staircase (she had written and scheduled two posts to publish before her death, hence the startling dates on the two most recent entries)
—The History of Glamour, Theresa Duncan’s 40-minute film, which Jeremy animated.
–A not-updated-since-September site called Theresa Duncan Central.
–More on Jeremy Blake’s Wild Choir, which runs through March at the Corcoran in DC.
–The ‘Punch Drunk Love’ trailer — Jeremy Blake created an animated sequence (and, I would think, some of the title art).
—Beck’s Sea Change album, for which Jeremy Blake designed the art.
–Two posts from Rigorous Intuition (here and here), which speculate on who might have been harassing Jeremy and Teresa and suggest a conspiracy was afoot. And, artwork by Jeremy’s ex Anna Gaskell, which lends disturbing credence to the conspiracy theory. (And, also, it seems that both Anna and Theresa were preoccupied with Alice in Wonderland, maybe a bit too much — while living in LA, Theresa was working on a script called Alice Underground, about two girls who kidnap a rock star … Theresa often claimed Beck was on board to play that role, which he denies in the VF article).
–Oops! NY Mag reports that in a 2003 Italian interview, Beck talks about getting into acting: “It will be full of energy and full of characters: some kind of Alice in Wonderland set in the seventies. It still doesn’t have a title. The director is a friend of mine, and it will be her directorial debut. But I trust her. We will begin shooting in the fall.”
If that isn’t enough, it turns out that now the Vanity Fair piece is stirring up its own pot of controversy. The Society of Mutual Autopsy has questioned the writer, Nancy Jo Sales, and her relationship to the story — given that she’s the ex-wife of Father Frank Morales, who was very close to Theresa and Jeremy before their deaths. SoMA has published an account from Morales’ ex, Melinda Hunt, who tells a different story about the night of Theresa’s death, and alleges that he unethically used his access to the couple to help Sales write the VF piece — as well as an email from Jeremy Blake’s mother confirming that Morales introduced her to Sales. And then, of course, Sales responds, and then Morales responds. There is much, much more going on here than meets the eye.
Seriously, if this story doesn’t suck you in, chew you up and spit you out, then you are not easily sucked in, chewed up, and spit out.