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October 27, 2007

Jeremy Blake

Despite Jeremy Blake's suicide back in July (after his companion, Theresa Duncan had done so) his digital images are now part of an exhibition in Washington DC:

The late New York artist Jeremy Blake tried to blur the boundary between the two in recent years by creating "moving paintings" on the computer screen. His animated collages combine morphing colors and shapes with Monty Python-type gags, photo stills from films and television, and fragments of music and spoken poetry.

The Corcoran Gallery of Art wants you to see them as "wild" and forward-leaning, but a trio of Mr. Blake's videos on view at the museum, starting tomorrow, reveals the artist to be deeply nostalgic in his romantic odes to the idols of the swinging 1960s and later punk bands. His adolescent fantasies about rebellious rockers are expressed through the traditional form of portraiture, and he tries so hard to blend media that his dense verbal and visual montages lack artistic clarity.

The lush but uneven display at the Corcoran testifies to this young artist's search for originality and serves as a tribute to Mr. Blake's short career. In July, at age 35, he ended his life by walking into the ocean off Queens, N.Y., after finding his companion, filmmaker and writer Theresa Duncan, had committed suicide. Their deaths stunned the art world, especially given Mr. Blake's success with museum and gallery shows, and his creations for the movie "Punch-Drunk Love" and pop star Beck.

The question all too many people want to know the answer to of course is why in fact did Jeremy Blake and Theresa Duncan in fact commit suicide? The best answer seems to come from Newsgrist:

Though over a month old, this post continues to receive an unprecedented number of hits per day. Responding to the conundrum of this dual suicide, all levels of media coverage from blogs to print dailies to tabloids seem to promote everything from conspiracy theory to drugs; most of it amounts to a huge pile of tawdry sensationalism. I guess the idea is to sell papers (or get more hits). As glamorous as they may have seemed while still alive, there is nothing glamorous or romantic about this story; it's not raw material for a Tony Scott style psycho-surveillance thriller, nor for Sofia Coppola's next chickflick. Whatever they suffered from, T&J remained undiagnosed unto death. As can be the case with undiagnosed and untreated mental pain, they were self-medicating (lots of alcohol...). However bizarre, their shared illness, if that's what it was, is certainly not unheard of. No one can confirm at this point if this was really the case or not, but it is the most logical explanation for their increasingly erratic behavior during the last years of their lives leading up to and including their suicides. No one can say whether an accurate diagnosis and suitable treatment might have helped them or just prolonged their difficult descent. RIP.

Paranoid schizophrenia if left untreated, can indeed have that effect.

October 27, 2007 in Current Affairs | Permalink

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Comments

Every time I open a new page your feeds start blaring out their cacophony. Its not even one at a time but two going off at once. What's even worse is that I can't even switch them off for the first 5 seconds while AP hijack my speakers

Please switch them OFF and let the visitor decide what they want to hear

Goodbye.

Posted by: Switch off your feeds | Oct 28, 2007 10:55:04 AM