26 July 2007

Wave of Mutilation:

Death of An Artist and A Blogger

A wallet and other items belonging to Jeremy Blake were found on Rockaway Beach after a witness saw a man strip off his clothes, walk into the ocean and not come out.

That was July 17. A a week after Jeremy's girlfriend, filmmaker/blogger Theresa Duncan, committed suicide in their East Village apartment.

Now authorities are trying to determine if a body found Sunday floating more than four miles off the New Jersey coast is in fact that of multi-media artist Jeremy Blake.

Duncan and Blake, who were together for 12 years, are recalled as an impossibly good-looking, intellectually vigorous and socially popular pair of soul mates who moved gracefully among a set of likewise brainy, moneyed people who occupy the intersection of art and technology on both coasts.

The apparent double suicide of this glamourous, intellectual couple has confounded and disturbed the art world in New York, London and Los Angeles, where they lived together for several years.

Many were shocked by the turn of events while others noted that the couple had acted quite strangely in their final months together.

According to several friends and art world peers, the two believed they were being stalked and harassed by Scientologists, an abiding fear that soured old friendships and made some of their respective working relationships difficult.

The couple had moved in February from Los Angeles back to New York, where Blake had accepted a job as an in-house graphic designer for video game manufacturer Rockstar Games. A source at Rockstar, who declined to be identified for fear of violating company policy, recalled the artist as someone who "looked like a rock star. He wore sunglasses indoors. Sometimes he sipped whiskey at work." HOLLA!

On July 10, the day she was found dead, Duncan, 40, posted a final blog entry, a two-sentence quotation from author Reynolds Price:

"A need to tell and hear stories is essential to the species Homo sapiens -- second in necessity apparently after nourishment and before love and shelter. Millions survive without love or home, almost none in silence; the opposite of silence leads quickly to narrative, and the sound of story is the dominant sound of our lives, from the small accounts of our day's events to the vast incommunicable constructs of psychopaths."
A friend of the couple said:

"They were both highly ambitious and successful and had achieved a lot. They were energetic in their creative pursuits," Kinz said. "The biggest surprise is that Jeremy would sacrifice what he had worked so hard to achieve and had been so excited about."On the other hand, for those who did know Jeremy and Theresa, they were very close, seemingly very much in love and extremely close. One could assume the loss was too much to handle."

* Read more on this story from the LA Times & NewsGrist

* Read Theresa Duncan's blog

* Mad Man Serenades As Lovers Entwine : interview with Theresa about the Chelsea Hotel

* Wild Choir: Cinematic Portraits by Jeremy Blake (exhibit coming in October)

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