Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Imitation of Life

Somebody better investigate soon - Bob Dylan

Some things that have come to me, some word of mouth, since yesterday's post.
  • Theresa's "suicide note" was short and vague, and found typed on a computer. That is, it was not handwritten.

  • She had no history of pill popping, and her cause of death is still officially undetermined.

  • The one witness to Jeremy's alleged walk into the sea, the woman who called the police, now can neither be located nor identified.

  • His body has still not been recovered.

  • It took 72 hours to notify Jeremy's family of his disappearance. The newspaper was notified first.

  • Friends are having a "hard time imagining the two committing suicide," reports the New York Post. "Suicide would never be on their to-do list," said Blake Robin. "The narrative of the wallet and the clothes under the boardwalk, it's like somebody writing a cliché, it's not them. It would be embarrassing to them. It seems too calculated for the most uncalculated people. I can see some teenager in Idaho who listens to Marilyn Manson doing this, but not them."

  • They broke a lease eight months short of term when they recently left LA. Allegedly they were being harassed by a recently-arrived neighbor, a Scientologist, and were receiving no help from authorities.
The Los Angeles Times is now reporting the story, and on the couple's "paranoia" of Scientology:

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.

Christine Nichols, a colleague and friend of Blake's since 1998, produced two art exhibitions, two books and a record in conjunction with the artist through the New York art gallery she co-founded, Works on Paper Inc. Nichols dates the couple's rising sense of "paranoia" to around 2004, two years after Blake created an album cover for alternative-rock star Beck, who is a practicing Scientologist.

"They thought Scientologists were really harassing them," Nichols said. "They would say, 'They are following us, harassing our landlord.' I did not see any evidence of that. But it got to be something that was huge to them -- a 'You're either with us or against us' thing where if you didn't believe them, you weren't on their side. The story they had woven in paranoia and conspiracies took over part of their lives. A lot of us couldn't understand that acting out."

Two other art world sources corroborated Nichols' characterization but declined to speak on the record out of concern that Blake may still be alive.

One thing I missed from the LA Observed article speculating on Duncan's death: the first intimation of Jeremy Blake's disappearance came from an unnamed "ex-girlfriend of Blake."

Which reminds me. I've been looking at some of the art of Anna Gaskell, Blake's ex-girlfriend and subject of Duncan's disturbing warning in her May post. (""Stop accepting payoffs from [Des Moines businessman and guardian Jim] Cownie immediately, get your younger brothers away from him, get a lawyer using only your own money, and have the lawyer get Cownie to answer a few questions about your mother and father.")

From the Guggenheim catalogue:

Anna Gaskell crafts foreboding photographic tableaux of pre-adolescent girls that reference children's games, literature, and psychology.... In untitled #9 of the wonder series, a wet bar of soap has been dragged along a wooden floor. In untitled #17 it appears again, forced into a girl's mouth, with no explanation of how or why. This suspension of time and causality lends Gaskell's images a remarkable ambiguity that she uses to evoke a vivid and dreamlike world.

Gaskell's girls do not represent individuals, but act out the contradictions and desires of a single psyche. While their unity is suggested by their identical clothing, the mysterious and often cruel rituals they act out upon each other may be metaphors for disorientation and mental illness. In wonder and override, the character collectively evoked is Alice, perhaps lost in the Wonderland of her own mind, unable to determine whether the bizarre things happening to her are real or the result of her imagination.... Gaskell addresses this psychologically loaded subject matter with images of girls wandering in a gothic mansion illuminated by candlelight. Here the psyche in question has been fractured and fraught with terror by a perverse father's look, a voyeuristic gaze.

We don't want to see things that aren't there. But when they're there, are we crazy for seeing them?

More, from Ron Rosenbaum:

According to sources I checked with in the New York City Police Department and the City Medical Examiner’s Office, the death of Theresa Duncan which has been almost without exception called “a suicide” in the local papers has not yet been officially ruled a suicide. It may well still be. To my knowledge no evidence has come to light suggesting murder or accidental death. But the authorities aren’t commenting , awaiting, for one thing, toxicology reports on Duncan they say may not be available for at least two weeks.

Rosenbaum adds that he has additional information on Jeremy Blake's reported death and other aspects of the case, and hopes to post them soon.


Blogger Mark said...

Alice in Wonderland programming, revisited:

From Cathy O'Brien's book, 'TranceFormation of America' (the link has 81 reviews), an ex-MKULTRA who was seemingly being put through the same as perhaps some of the people photographed in the links above:

"It was Houston's G.E. capacitor scam that provided me insight into the elaborate Long Island docks drug network run by U.S. Congressman Gary Ackerman (D.NY). I first met Ackerman in 1981 when Houston was booked into the Woodberry Music Festival with known CIA-mind control victim Loretta Lynn. Senator Byrd proudly claimed Loretta as his mind-controlled slave and told me, "I literally made Loretta what she is today, and she is maid to order." Loretta's son and secondary mind-control handler, Ernest Ray, told me, "I know what the Byrd did to my mother. I can get away with murder... All I gotta do is call him and I'm free as a bird/Byrd." Loretta's road manager, Neo-Nazi pedophile Ken Riley, who was also Alex Houston's best friend, often assisted Houston in handling me. Riley in turn handed by Charm School programmed keys, codes, and triggers to Congressman Ackerman, who skillfully accessed my Alice in Wonderland mirror theme programming.


It was a sunny, fall day in 1983 when U.S. Congressman Guy VanderJagt met with my CIA operative mind-control handler, Alex Houston, my then 3 ½ year old daughter, Kelly, and me on the steps of the U.S. Senate in Washington, D.C. Kelly appeared familiar with VanderJagt, although I had never previously remembered seeing her in his company. Even so, I could not think to realize he was, in fact, sexually abusing her as he had me when I was a child. VanderJagt knelt on one knee in front of her to talk with her, assuring her that "today was a special day" because she would "see Uncle George (Bush) while mommy sees Uncle Ronnie (Reagan)." He stood up and took her by the hand, saying in Alice in Wonderland cryptic language, "Let's go on an Adventure together" and led her quietly and robotically away.

Cathy O'Brien:

Mind Control & MKULTRA, Cathy O'Brien and Mark Phillips, (Edmonton, Canada presentation)
1 hr 44 min - Jul 24, 2006 -
(89 ratings)
Mark Phillips and Cathy O'Brien expose the Federal Government's involvement in Mind Control projects, research, and abuse of its' own people. This is the...

7/25/2007 08:26:00 AM  
Blogger omnimental said...

Did these people actually exist or is this just an elaborate innuendo like so many other "stories" in the media. I wonder how much mind anyone should be paying it...after the post from a couple weeks ago that suggested that letting the media control what we think about was not such a good idea. Well, I guess everything here is just an idea and not anything to live by.

I tell you what: I used to read this blog too, and I have definitely been harassed by well entrenched, albeit recessive, unjustified powers. I say, come get me you fucking useless stooges.

These fucking useless high society mind-control slaves with their sense of entitlement and their fucking macho, NARROW-MINDED enforcers: they can all piss up a rope for all I care.

Ha hahahahahahaha. HAAAAAAH HAAAAAH hahahahahaha. OOOHHHH. That was a good laugh.

If I ever get the chance to survive by the means they live in gluttony by, you can be certain that I will take care of such business with a straight face.

See, you people, with your families in suburbia, whatever, you have gotten so used to all of the violence being done for you so that you can sit there and get all of the resources you want shipped in to your grocery stores and sit back and wax moronically about how "the ends never justify the means." Meanwhile, EVERYTHING that you own is there because America has tortured hundreds of millions of people into the ground and used them for fertilizer for YOUR CONVENIENCE. Now you are going to sit there and tell me about violence and how it solves nothing. If I could spit on you I would. Go fuck yourselves. Then, renounce your place in suburbia and go figure out how to live in the woods without the help of any of the U.S. military's spoils.

Oh, I suppose since you guys are such philosophers that you have figured out a way to have your cake and eat it too, or at least to have your cake and pay no mind as to WHERE IT CAME FROM.

Yeah, violence is so wrong. And so you should all be put in jail for eating its spoils with reckless abondon and apathy.

If you disagree with me, then you are definitely not even worth saving. You are so proud and stubborn in your "philosophy" or should I say phil-'o'-selfy that you don't deserve any consideration at all.

7/25/2007 10:36:00 AM  
Blogger Dr. Bombay said...

I just checked out Anna Gaskell's
"art work" and found it to be very
disturbing. The overtones of forced
sexual behavior between prepubescent
girls is right there for all to see.
Do you have any more info on the
deaths of Ms. Gaskell's parents?
I also found it interesting that,
according to reports, Jeremy was
planning on being in Detroit for
the funeral of Theresa. Was there
information that he was going to
share with family and friends of
Theresa regarding her death that
certain people could not allow to
be divulged? My hope is that
Jeremy may have staged his own
death and has "gone to ground",
but I can't conceive of him not
waiting until after Theresa's
funeral to make his move.

Are you sure you don't
have a sister named Sabina?

7/25/2007 11:48:00 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

Hmm. With Jeremy as the ex-boyfriend of the seeming woman (Anna) who is tied up in MKULTRA projects with her fellow siblings (what else can it mean?), there's one of two options. Both different shades of bad.

The Good Dr. Bombay said the optimisitic one, if you can call it optimistic when the woman T. Duncan is already dead under suspicious circumstances and the other guy Jeremy may be fleeing for his life. Such 'optimism' in these situations, eh?

The pessimistic one is that someone may have gotten to Jeremy and kidnapped him to tie up loose ends, and staged the whole disappearance as the ruse. Then, he may be dead in a way that has nothing to do with any story we will ever know.

Regardless of either, the relationship that is of interest to me is Anna and Jeremy, instead of Teresa and Jeremy.

Jeff implies that Teresa's planned (and unfinished) article on Dick Cheney may have had something to do with a sudden change in her life--to death. And from a previous Jeff post, Cheney is definitely tied up in all this. Jeff wrote back in 2004--

Dick Cheney's Other Big Secret:

Monday, November 15, 2004

Dick Cheney's Other Big Secret

Dick Cheney in all his glory, as snapped by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel photographer Dale Guldan.

The photo ran on the front page of the paper's Metro section last September 11:

The story of the photograph, from The Milwaukee Magazine:

Guldan got a call from a reader the next day. “Did you notice anything unusual about that picture?” the reader asked. Upon closer inspection, it seems the vice president’s smile was not his biggest, ahem, asset. Is that what we think it is?

“You’re not imagining it,” Guldan says of the unintentionally revealing photo. Let’s just say the snugness of Cheney’s pants left little to the imagination, and we’re not talking about his waistline.

One Journal Sentinel reader pointed out the blooper in an e-mail to WKLH-FM radio hosts Dave Luczak, Carole Caine and Kevin Brandt, who had a hoot talking about it during their popular morning show. “It’s nice to have someone of that magnitude in the White House,” Brandt joked. “He’s got a porn career right there,” Caine snickered.

I normally wouldn't bother with a story like this. But there's something about it that bothers me. And I'm sure some of you will think I'm crazy for even mentioning this. But you see, there's this very strange book, titled Trance-Formation of America....

Published in 1995, Trance-Formation is the autobiography of alleged CIA mind-control subject Cathy O'Brien, and describes incredible scenes of ritualized trauma, perpetrated by some of Washington's most prominent figures. Dick Cheney, the then-former Secretary of Defense, plays a not insignificant role.

Even to some who accept that Project Monarch is genuine, O'Brien's story is simply beyond belief. And frankly, that's where I've placed much of it. And some of it does read like porn for the paranoid mind.

But here's a passage:

Dick Cheney had an apparent addiction to the "thrill of the sport." He appeared obsessed with playing A Most Dangerous Game as a means of traumatizing mind control victims, as well as to satisfy his own perverse sexual kinks. My introduction to the game occurred upon arrival at the hunting lodge near Greybull, Wyoming, and it physically and psychologically devastated me. I was sufficiently traumatized for Cheney's programming, as I stood naked in his hunting lodge office after being hunted down and caught. Cheney was talking as he paced around me, "I could stuff you and mount you like a jackalope and call you a two legged dear. Or I could stuff you with this (he unzipped his pants to reveal his oversized penis) right down your throat, and then mount you. Which do you prefer?"

When I first read this, the most incredible aspect of O'Brien's entire tale was the prospect of Dick Cheney having an oversized penis. The second, the image of Cheney as a huntsman. Yet we've seen many stories in the past year or so regarding Cheney's "thrill of the sport." (For instance, his bagging 70 pheasants last December, and duck hunting with Antonin Scalia as his bid to keep secret the details of his energy policy came before the Supreme Court.)

Perhaps, in the mid-90s, O'Brien had learned enough about private citizen Cheney to know he loved to hunt. That makes sense; I can see that. As for learning enough about Cheney's privates, I suppose it comes down to this: either O'Brien got lucky, or she got unlucky.


Were Jeremy and Anna both tied up in this? How did they met in the first place? And if Jeremy was involved in MKULTRA knowledge in some way, even at one remove, what led to his (temporary?) escape from it when he left Anna? Even though from Jeff's quotes above it implies that Anna was the one giving out the first story about Jeremy's disappearance...

Jeremy certainly would have poured his heart out to Teresa in escaping from this.

Any clue where that 'gothic mansion' is in Anna's pictures? Few people have a gothic mansion just lying about the house to stage such photographs.

And if you don't think it's real, dust off The Search for the Manchurian Candidate: The CIA and Mind Control; The Secret History of the Behavioral Sciences (1991). On its back cover, it notes it won the Best Book of the Year Award for Investigative Reporters and Editors.

Senator Edward Kennedy is quoted on the back as saying the book "accomplished what two Senate committees could not" do in getting behind the looking glass.

7/25/2007 12:48:00 PM  
Blogger ericswan said...

This is one of the video's linked to her website. It may still be.

7/25/2007 01:40:00 PM  
Blogger ericswan said...

I woke up dreaming about a designer t-shirt of Lucy (I Love Lucy) wearing a Superman outfit. I wonder if this is a subtle way of saying that Scientology is just a bit of comic relief. If in fact the website is down (all comments had to be moderated) then it would suggest something already up was bothering somebody else.

MK Ultra has never bothered the PTB before. I would have to assume something new or something concrete was being discouraged.

As far as Shrub's comment that RI'ers are next, need we remind you of your unsigned birthday card?

7/25/2007 02:30:00 PM  
Blogger iridescent cuttlefish said...

So what's your enlightened solution, Omni, you barking mad rope-pisser? More kill or be killed? More purifying of the blood? Tell us of your grand vision for humanity (and your central role in it, of course.)

Woof, woof.

7/25/2007 02:48:00 PM  
Blogger iridescent cuttlefish said...

Oh, yeah. I forgot to mention the little present I left for you at the end of the last thread. Help is only a stone thrown away...

7/25/2007 02:50:00 PM  
Blogger kmw said...


One of the first news reports I read regarding Ms. Duncan's death was a UPI article dated July 21st:

The article refers to Ms. Duncan as both an ex-girlfriend and a former girlfriend of Mr. Blake:

"Blake, 36, who also exhibited his work at the Whitney Museum, reportedly was upset by his ex-girlfriend's recent suicide when he went to the beach July 17, the New York Daily News reported Monday."

"Friends who knew both Blake and his former girlfriend, filmmaker Theresa Duncan, 40, said Blake seemed to be coping with Duncan's death and was scheduled to appear at a memorial service for her Monday in Lapeer, Mich."

I have not read any other account that insinuates Ms. Duncan and Mr. Blake may have broken up prior to their deaths. In light of this, it may explain a possible reason for Ms. Duncan’s suicide. If one reads her recent posts of the last several days and weeks, it does seem that some posts indicate she may have been struggling with some emotional, relationship-related issues.

Does anybody know anything more about this possibility?

7/25/2007 03:32:00 PM  
Blogger Jeff Wells said...

"The article refers to Ms. Duncan as both an ex-girlfriend and a former girlfriend of Mr. Blake"

Yes I noticed that as well. I think it's likely a mistake, since it was one of the first reports and it hasn't been repeated since. Also, all of the comments I've seen from those who knew them speak of them as a couple very much in love.

7/25/2007 03:41:00 PM  
Blogger Jeff Wells said...

Also, I wonder whether UPI was confused regarding an "ex-girlfriend" because an ex does pop up in at least one account of the story, as a source for the news of Jeremy's death.

7/25/2007 03:44:00 PM  
Blogger Emlon said...

Look at Teresa Duncan here:
Look at Anna Gaskell here:

Is it me, or does anyone else see 'twins' as an understatement - the same person, different people, used a picture of the other - huh?

I worked at the Art Institute of Chicago in '92, when Anna Gaskell was there as a student (I worked in the museum, she attended the school). I had finished my MFA there in '87, but I was and am still in touch with a lot of people who were there then. This should send her career rocketing (anyone getting any notice in the "regular" press will send the art world into fits of desire).

I had looked at Teresa Duncan's site I before this was even mentioned on RI (found the reference to them in the NY Times)- did anyone else think of "Eyes Wide Shut" when they looked at the picture of the woman with the mask?? It was my absolute first thought...

references for Anna Gaskell

"Anna Gaskell
b. 1969, Des Moines, Iowa

Anna Gaskell was born in Des Moines, Iowa, on October 22, 1969. She studied at Bennington College for two years before attending the Art Institute of Chicago, where she received a B.F.A. in 1992; she received an M.F.A. from Yale University in 1995. Gaskell's early photographs were self-portraits, but she soon began photographing girls as they collectively acted out stories, often embodying characters reminiscent of Alice from Alice in Wonderland. In her wonder (1996–97) and override (1997) series, groups of girls dressed in matching uniforms are shown in ambiguous and ominous situations. Her series hide (1998) evokes a Brothers Grimm tale of a young woman who disguises herself under an animal pelt so that she might escape her own father's proposal of marriage; Gaskell set this story in a gothic mansion illuminated by candlelight. Recently, she has been incorporating the history of specific sites into her works' narratives; in the photographs and short film that comprise half life (2002), for example, the artist portrayed the former residence of Dominique de Menil as a sort of haunted house.

Gaskell's first solo exhibition was at Casey Kaplan Gallery in New York in 1997; she has since exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Miami (1998), White Cube in London (1999 and 2002), Aspen Art Museum in Aspen, Colorado (2000), Castello di Rivoli in Rivoli, Italy (2001), and the Menil Collection in Houston (2002). She has also participated in Sightings at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London (1998), Photography Past/Forward: Aperture at 50 at Burden Gallery in New York (2002), and Moving Pictures at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. She received the Citibank Private Bank Photography Prize in 2000 and a Nancy Graves Foundation grant in 2002. She lives and works in New York."

A different kind of fictional world can be observed in Anna Gaskell's work. Her series of photographic episodes (Wonder and Override) are based on a loose re-interpretation of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. Gaskell treats her medium as a kind of stage set onto which she projects her child-centered concerns and enigmatic dramatic action. Apart from the fictional references however there lurks a disquieting sub-text often with sadistic overtones that centres around notions of childhood identity and transformation the transition from innocence to experience naiveté to knowing; suppressed eroticism and sexual awakening on the other hand are expressed through images of the fractured body. The artist adopts a cinematic approach towards photography employing 'actors' (young girls) artificial lighting and 'framing' the action taking place within the picture space. Unusual viewing angles and close ups violent cropping and stark contrasts of shadow and light result in a set of menacing claustrophobic spaces that intimate not only anxiety about ones coming of age but a general psychological unease. Gaskell's work does not posses specific narrative but rests rather on a series of suggestive 'actions'. In fact her whole oeuvre is based on implication rather than description; it is this ambiguity hovering as it does between what is imagined and what one sees between reality and fiction that reinforces the sense of malaise and intrigue for the viewer.

Katerina Gregos

Resemblance: Photographs by Anna Gaskell

This book has been published by the Addison Gallery and it accompanies the exhibition by Anna Gaskell. Most of the photographs in Resemblance were created duringAnna Gaskell's visits to Phillips Academy as the Addison Gallery's Edward E. Elson artist-in-residence. The photographs have been inspired by literary sources such as Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Villiers de l'Isle Adam's "Tomorrow's Eve," and E.T.A. Hoffmann's "The Sandman," resemblance offers the possibility of creating one's history. Dressed in white lab coats, Phillips Academy female students are cast by Gaskell as young technicians attempting to create an "ideal person." Their goal is to use their own hands to build the very person who made them. resemblance explores issues of creating and/or recreating one's maker, one's antecedent, and therefore one's past. According to Gaskell's narrative, the more ideal their creator, the closer to perfection the young girls will become.

Anna Gaskell Drawings

In preparation for this essay I was curious to learn some of the sources of Gaskell's imagination and asked her to list books and films that influenced her work. While looking at the list, I had the sensation of being projected into Gaskell's photograph of little girls searching the mouth of Alice to see what she may have eaten to cause a metamorphosis in her. It was clear that Gaskell had ingested all the titles on her list - books such as Lord of the Flies, Dracula, Frankenstein, Daddy was the Black Dahlia Killer, Turn of the Screw, Dictionary of Imaginary Places, and In Cold Blood; and films such as Sister My Sister, The Bad Seed, Mildred Pierce, All About Eve, Dead Ringers, Village of the Damned, Carrie, Lolita, Fantasia, and The Exorcist.

Gaskell's photographs are not specifically about any of these books or films; rather they are all of these stories combined. Young and teenage girls and ingenues, for instance, are the subject of many of the books and films on Gaskell's list and all her photographs. A number of these narratives explore the concept that children are not innocent beings and, when left alone without the guidance and love of adults or the governance of society, they can become savage. Concepts of good and evil do not seem to apply in many of these books and films. Likewise the actions of Gaskell's subjects are often ambiguous. Are the girls who are pushing and pulling another girl helping or hurting her? Is there an underlying sexuality expressed by the girls' mysterious rituals, the role of the pho-tographer, or the gaze of the viewer?

Gaskell's interest in young girls as subject matter began in 1996 with a series of photographic portraits she made that were inspired by Pre-Raphaelite paintings. Gaskell was intrigued by the way these late-nineteenth-century painters repeatedly used the same model but had her assume the pose of a different character in each painting. Reversing this practice, Gaskell had different young models pose as the same Alice character. These alluring models seem at once childlike and worldly. It is these girls' ambiguous relationship to Gaskell (and by extension, the viewer), more than their reference to Alice in Wonderland, that connects these portraits with the wonder and override photographs.

Stories of dopplegangers and evil twins also dominate Gaskell's list of books and films. The theme of doubles occurs in Alice in Wonderland when the author describes Alice's penchant for pretending to be two people, and in the use of the mirror in Alice Through the Looking Glass. Although Gaskell cast identical twin girls in wonder, the pair appears together in only three photographs such as Untitled #8 in which the girls lie side by side as perfect mirror images and in Untitled #2. In override, the Alice character is represented by five girls whose complicated poses at times transform them into a single monstrous girl with multiple heads and limbs. Gaskell essentially shattered the mirror
in this series so as to eliminate the separation between the interior and exterior selves. Viewers experience a similar condition when looking at the override photographs. Gaskell manipulates the compositions so that, like Alice, the viewer can enter through the looking glass. For example, in Untitled #23 Gaskell positioned the little girls dragging Alice through the forest to correspond to her perspective when she photographed the scene, thereby creating the sensation that the disembodied arms belong to Gaskell, and by extension, the viewer who assumes the same perspective when looking at the picture.

Although Alice is the protagonist in override as she was in wonder, in this recent series of photographs the Carroll story becomes the arche-type for all the other narratives on Gaskell's list of books and films. With her starched Victorian pinafore, Alice is immediately recogniz-able, and her role is that of youthful siren who lures the viewer into contemplating Gaskell's work. And yet, as recent articles published on the centenary of Lewis Carroll's death bear out, the perception of the author, his real life muse, and the fictional Alice have altered over time. In fact, the current notoriety surrounding the recent screen production of Nabakov's Lolita and the interpretation of Carroll's motivations as bordering on pedophilia intertwine the identity of Alice with that of Lolita in contemporary minds.

Gaskell is attracted to the malleable qualities of fiction: narratives hold open multiple possibilities while facts in true life cannot be changed. In her work, Gaskell exercises control over her subjects and can alter a story each time she sets up a scene. Her manipulation of narratives is particularly evident in her film, floater. The title, itself, leads the viewer along a stream of consciousness which connects a detective term for a drown-ing victim and optical floaters (alusive black dots that occasionally drift across ones field of vision), with Hamlet's doomed Ophelia who sees her situation more clearly when she looses her mind. The floating figure in this film is an Ophelia as transcendent as the submerged damsel paint-ed by the Pre-Raphaelite Sir John Everett Millais. Gaskell's film, however, alters the fate of Shakespeare's heroine. Instead of allowing Ophelia to drown herself in despair, Gaskell imbues her with the will to sur-vive. Projected as a continuous loop on the floor, the film presents a beautiful, golden-haired young woman floating face down in the water. The sparkling, reflected light, the rich coloration and the limp floating figure are mesmerizing to watch. Slowly tilting her head back toward the viewer, Ophelia opens her mouth wide to gasp for air. As the camera zooms in on her mouth, the viewer feels pulled into this gigantic maw. Although Gaskell raises the viewer's expectation that Ophelia can be saved, the continuous loop always returns her to her watery grave.

Fiction provides an escape into another world. Alice stands out among fictional characters because of her rich imagination and ability to create a new place for herself. Gaskell exercises her own imagination in her photographs and film and feels free to tell and retell stories as she desires. The sense of freedom, however, is limited and even contradicted by her medium. Gaskell may be able to alter the outcome of a story or play, but once she shoots a scene, the image is frozen and the narrative remains as fixed as circumstances in life.

Bonnie Clearwater

Anna Gaskell has said that her work is more influenced by film and painting than by the conventions of photography. Indeed, Gaskell’s working method is more akin to that of an astute movie director than to a camera-wielding photographer. Drawing inspiration from a wide array of literary and cinematic sources, her works are made in series that form what she calls "elliptical narratives." The subject matter she photographs for these "narratives" is staged – from the selection and costuming of the young girls who are invariably her subjects, to her careful control of the lighting, camera angles, and exaggerated cropping. The results are vaguely disturbing, leaving one to question just exactly what is happening in these images.

Untitled #73 (resemblance) is from a body of work titled resemblance, which she undertook in the spring of 2001 while an artist-in-residence at the Addison Gallery in Andover, Massachusetts. This series was inspired by such literary sources as The Sandman by E.T.A. Hoffmann, Tomorrow’s Eve by Villiers de l’Isle Adam, and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and in it, Gaskell deals with the notion of creating an artificial person. She dressed female students from Phillips Academy in Andover in white lab coats and cast them as young technicians undertaking this bizarre experiment. But unlike the protagonists in the literature that inspired her, the girls in Gaskell’s photographs are attempting to use their hands to build their creator, an artificial "mother." The pictures in the series suggest a disquieting narrative that is ambiguous, non-linear, and open to complex interpretations ranging from ethical debates about biotechnology and cloning to feminist issues of gaining control over one’s body and self-image. In this photograph, although the "creation" is about to be unveiled, it will undoubtedly leave the viewer with more questions than answers.

- Jennifer Bayles, Educator for Special Projects

Gaskell creates a fantastic world in which she blurs the distinction between creators and their creations. In these images, the viewer must determine who holds dominion over whom

Anna Gaskell's Wonder

Anna Gaskell's first show of color photographs, titled "Wonder," offers up a masquerade in which a pair of pretty twins play at being Alice in Wonderland. Dressed in blue pinafores, white tights and black Mary Jane shoes, the girls are posed playing on the grass and exploring in the woods. The colors of the glossy, plastic-coated C prints are fresh and bright, and the images have a sophisticated sense of the polysemic potential of costume and gesture. In her new body of work -- which has sold out to eager collectors -- the 28-year-old artist brings the search for identity to a new pitch of intensity.

The mirror-like clarity of Alice's dream is given figural expression by Gaskell's use of twins. In one picture, they lie serenely on the grass, sunning their identical faces. In another scene, things are more desperate and Alice administers mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to her mirror image. Elsewhere, pictured individually, the girl falls, pulls down her leggings or tumbles through endless semiotic acrobatics. The twin here is visualized as a pure mirror image, the self reflected identically into another. The twin is a dream of self-sufficiency, a perfect source of love and friendship, the erotic component both repressed and emphasized.

Alice's blue and white costume, as Lewis Carroll knew all too well, is suggestive of the compromised innocence of the Virgin Mary. In Gaskell's photographs, in which young women are dressed as prepubescent girls, the sexuality of the sign is sublimated into the surroundings. This perhaps explains the acute light of Gaskell's pictures, a light that nearly cuts at the space and offers the prospect of unearthly security -- a kind of heaven. That is, Gaskell's Alices exist in a virtual place, a field beyond the looking glass, where reality is superimposed upon a template of fantasy and conforms to it, creating the illusion of a crystal clear world where dreams are our waking lives. This is a delightful but ultimately dangerous state of being (the bubble will burst).

Some photos are large, others are small. This simulates the problems of size that bedeviled Alice in Wonderland. It further reminds us that rapid scale-shifting in one's fantasies is taken as evidence of deepening identity problems.

Why have Gaskell's pictures generated such attention so quickly? Perhaps because they posit the classic question of identity, beyond the now-familiar (and unpleasantly vexing) issues of gender and ethnicity: who am I, where am I going, will I live and die alone? With breathtaking economy of means, Gaskell has transformed the Alice in Wonderland story into a touching coming-of-age drama, cool as a music video, as rich in performative ambiguity as Cindy Sherman's best works (though without her Gothic inflection) -- and as new as new art can feel.

Anna Gaskell, "Wonder," Nov. 14-Dec. 20, 1997, at Casey Kaplan, 48 Greene Street, New York, N.Y. 10013.

ROBERT MAHONEY is an art critic.

ART IN REVIEW; Anna Gaskell

Published: April 30, 2004

Casey Kaplan
416 West 14th Street
West Village
Through May 8

By now, Anna Gaskell has established herself as a maker of spooky, tension-filled feminine fictions. Her photographs, film and drawings are based on literature: ''Alice in Wonderland'' as reimagined by the heroine herself and Daphne du Maurier's ''Rebecca'' filtered through Hitchcock. Her work also suggests, faintly, the ambiguities of Balthus's paintings of sly nymphets.

Her method is to create a narrative expectation without fulfilling it. Her pictures are not sequential but suggest a circumstance or possible story line that involves the viewer in provocative uncertainties. The five enormous photographs here, very spare in content, go further in that vein. Even more than her earlier endeavors, these inscrutable images invite interpretation.

In one, a huge moon hangs whitely and expectantly in the black of the night sky, almost awaiting the arrival of a witch on a broomstick. In another, a group of children, their backs to the viewer, stands at the edge of a snowy woods. The emptiest photograph is a tabula rasa of skylike gray-white with a bloodlike smear or two and part of what could be a hand at the top.

While the moon photo and another of dark branches shown with their shadows are beautiful in their own right, her thrust seems to be to challenge the viewer to make a story from the photographs' ingredients; in other words, do the artist's work. But for this exercise, Ms. Gaskell offers pretty slim pickings. GRACE GLUECK

Anna Gaskell
ArtForum, March, 2000 by Frances Richard


We're postmillennial and allegedly post-feminist, but as a culture we remain ardently interested in that phenomenon of twentieth-century gender studies, the gaze. Anna Gaskell's photographs effect a realm of scopophilia--we look, and are uncomfortably caught looking. If her work is both seductive and alienating, unique and derivative, it is because she wants to analyze voyeuristic desire while reveling in it, to participate in its omnivorous processes of objectification while commenting on them.

Gaskell has received so much attention that it's hard to believe her recent outing was only her second solo show in New York. A series of fifteen color prints collectively titled "by proxy" (all works 1999), the exhibition echoed her 1996-97 "Wonder" series, in which a pair of adolescent girls appeared as carnal Alices in a chilly Wonderland. Similar ingredients were on display here: cool, glossy surfaces and saturated color; impressive use of cropping and close-up; hyperrealist natural settings; girls with long silky hair. But "by proxy" involves a larger group of models than the earlier show did. Varying in age from prepubescent to almost woman, they're dressed as nurses: little caps, white shirtwaist dresses, white stockings, sensible shoes. The alpine forest in which they cavort is filled with weird sunlight and carpeted with cotton-batting snow.

According to press materials, the fragmented heroine is Sally Salt from Rudolf Erich Raspe's Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1785), imagined here as Genene Jones, a pediatric nurse convicted in 1984 of murdering her charges. None of this detail was apparent from looking at the images, but the narrative frame didn't matter. Clearly some fever dream was being enacted, a sinister fantasy in which identities merged and doubled as the nymphet nurses ministered to each other. Intentionally overdetermined, Gaskeil's scenes are quasi-Freudian hothouses in which every symbol is loaded, every attachment perverse. Such emphasis on the psychic power of role-playing ends up signaling its inverse; the elaborate symbolic structure fatigues coherence and suggests an inability--or a refusal--to believe in the organizing principles of character and plot.

Sexy, somnambulant, menacing, and menaced, the "by proxy" girls derive from a very long line of female adolescents, from the ravished maidens of Edvard Munch to the naughty dolls of Henry Darger. Gaskell's contribution to this compelling, if somewhat tiresome, coming-of-age picture is twofold. First, she is consummately literate in the vocabulary of contemporary photography. Sandwiched in Plexiglas, lit with the syrupy, flat light of advertising, ever image is compositionally nervy and surprising. Second, she's a woman. Though Gaskell accepts the role of artist as unseen creator and voyeur, our knowledge of her gender infuses our looking. Over and over, she stages the spectacle of female subjectivity struggling to emerge, emphasizing not the subjectivity--which, she suggests, may not exist--but the spectacle. Like Vanessa Beecroft with her chic/pom replicants, Gaskell tries to feminize the male gaze while keeping it phallic--that is, distanced, potent, supremely confident. The godmother of all this is certai nly Cindy Sherman, but Sherman's women are protean in a way Gaskell's girls are not. Because Sherman's personae collapse object into subject, her images have a fundamental brutality, a messiness born of self-scrutiny. So far, Gaskell has backpedaled on this--in spite of their uncanny range, her pictures have a smooth consumability. If she learns to bum away the sugar coating, their narcotic lyricism will really seduce.

COPYRIGHT 2000 Artforum International Magazine, Inc.
COPYRIGHT 2000 Gale Group

7/25/2007 04:17:00 PM  
Blogger Hotblueglue said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7/25/2007 05:14:00 PM  
Blogger Hotblueglue said...

Here's a slightly humorous and not-so-slightly disturbing account of Scientology harassment. The COS goes to extraordinary lengths in Los Angeles (and elsewhere) to harass writers, artists, musicians and anyone else who dares to poke fun at or criticize Scientology. Ever heard of the El Ron Hitler saga? Though Mark Ebner is misguided in his info regarding Beck, the rest of what he relates here seems pretty dead-on. My friend was a writer for an LA entertainment newspaper at the time this incident occurred. He wrote an account of the El Ron Hitler debacle in his column. Shortly after the article was published, he received a letter from the COS informing him that no such "incident" had ever occurred. I wouldn't put anything past these people...

7/25/2007 05:17:00 PM  
Blogger Joe Adams said...

This might be of interest:
"Revelations of Secret Surveillance" a group of artists and writers struggle to understand and expose a covert system that utilizes psychodrama and brain scanning surveillance to interfere with the lives of artists, activists, and many other people.
BTW, she is receptive to serious researchers.
Reference site:

Creative hyper narrative:

7/25/2007 06:31:00 PM  
Blogger ericswan said...

Duncan's bio...

Film, philology, Vietnam War memorabilia, rare and discontinued perfume, book collecting, philately, card and coin tricks, futurism, Napoleon Bonaparte, the history of electricity

7/25/2007 07:29:00 PM  
Blogger et in Arcadia ego Eve said...

I’d like to see the press interview Anna Gaskell regarding her feelings on the tragedy:

Q: Anna, do you have a comment regarding the fact that Mr. and Mrs. Wit were so distraught over the fact that you continue to receive payoffs from the man who turned you into a twin powered calculating robot that they were “forced” to take their own lives?

7/25/2007 07:42:00 PM  
Blogger et in Arcadia ego Eve said...

And may I add that we have the same “droopy eye” thang goin' on.

(gotta give my unofficial myspace bro a plug - where did he go to anyway?)

7/25/2007 09:13:00 PM  
Blogger judgedef said...

Anyone else seeing recurring themes in Gaskells work!

Found via google news

7/25/2007 09:27:00 PM  
Blogger judgedef said...

"in Vermilion, on the other hand, twins describe the shared experience of the most important day of their lives. The two children agree, contradict one another and even invent new specifics, trying their best to register a similar memory. Although they describe the same event, experienced first-hand, we question the truth of the event itself due to conflicting witness accounts."

Twins,chilhood, mirrors, memory, realities

7/25/2007 09:29:00 PM  
Blogger omnimental said...

IC said:

Tell us of your grand vision for humanity (and your central role in it, of course.)

Okay, I am a grand king, watching them fall into the most beknighted state ever lived here on earth. I get blowjobs from sorority girls and other RI subscribers. We form a world government and call it Rigorous Intervention after I take over "Jeff's" place.

7/25/2007 09:54:00 PM  
Blogger omnimental said...

News stories in my grand world from "Omnimental's Grand World Vision":

Yesterday in Canada a group of several ducks was found in a wildfire. The head duck was named "The Terrorist." The Taliban was there in their firetrucks to save the ducks. After the water was sprayed on the ducks, they smoked cigarettes and cleaned up the seamen, then they began migrating back to their homes in suburbia.

An expert on ducks said, "Yeah, they were in need of a lot of water, but the Iraqis, eating Turkey, didn't care to respond."

Authorities expect to have the scene cleaned up by tomorrow morning.

7/25/2007 10:02:00 PM  
Blogger Emlon said...

More on the death of Gaskell's parents here:

Anna Gaskell: Everything that Rises
September 1 - 30, 2006

In conjunction with the University of Virginia Art Museum's touring exhibition,
Complicit! Contemporary American Art and Mass Culture.
Sponsored in part by the FUNd at the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation and the UVa Art Museum.
Anna Gaskell: Everything that Rises
1991 (installation detail), 2006
Dimensions variable
Courtesy the artist and Yvon Lambert

At the center of every Anna Gaskell photograph and video is a story. But in many cases the text, whether it is from Alice in Wonderland or Frankenstein, is suggested but never fully revealed, leaving the viewer to piece together the narrative thread. While this is the case with her Second Street show, the underlying tale is personal but no less literary. The exhibition-Gaskell's Mid-Atlantic debut-consists of two works, one a monumental installation in the main space (shown for the first time) composed of 10 photographs ranging from 8 x 10 inches to 6 x 7 feet, and the other a video. Entitled 1991, the installation work depicts events that happened to her family in 1991, when she was 20 years old. Recounts the artist: "My father's body was found in the park across the street from my family's house. In 2005, I asked each of my siblings to tell me their version of the happenings, and I realized that, their individual memories of these events have become more and more contradictory . . . less of the truth as I remember it." The group of images represents four different but converging stories that build a new mythology of the past. In each staged image adults dressed as children playing "cowboy," providing mysterious, decidedly psychological undercurrents to natural, often pastoral scenes.

As a complement to the 1991 installation, the Dové Gallery presents the widely acclaimed video piece Erasers. In this 10-minute work, the death of her mother in a car accident is recounted by a group of 12-year-old girls (Gaskell was 12 when the accident happened.) While each girl was told the same story, each describes the horrific events as if they happened to them personally, with chilling results. Together, the two works represent a turning point for Gaskell, a shift from fragmented narratives inspired by literature to works drawn from her own private experiences.

Over the last decade Gaskell has exhibited around the world to strong critical recognition. Her photographs are in such prominent public collections as the Guggenheim Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Tate Gallery, London.

7/25/2007 10:42:00 PM  
Blogger omnimental said...

Wait, does this thread have anything to do with the woman in Florida who had a baby alligator who had bitten her on the nose and locked onto her this way? I heard that the woman's son was an architect who was also an actual chicken, i.e., the mother, human as the Dickens, actually gave birth to poultry!

Incidentally, the chicken, named Joseph K., who ended up eating the alligator, was interested in: meteorology, bird watching, spider extermination, house painting, fucking baby humans (both sexes), zombie movies, and all political philosophy prior to 1900 (political philosophy that didn't treat the word "violence" like the phrase "your mother's cunt has so much puss on it and is so rotten that I would like to drink her molten, maggot-ridden, shit-filled cunt after I point a gun at you and force you, her son, to rape her").

Interesting stuff. What a world.modeus

7/25/2007 10:48:00 PM  
Blogger Emlon said...

The part about her father's death, above, states that Gaskell's father died in 1991, but if she was born in 1969, she had just passed the age of 21 (instead of the 20 in the article), and would have been over the age that she would be awarded to Cownie, so only younger brothers would have been living with him. She was at Bennington, though she left there and went to Chicago.

Also just an interesting note:
she is also a Scorpio, like Duncan, if she's born October 22.

7/25/2007 10:56:00 PM  
Blogger omnimental said...

Wail Street Journal

Sunday July 22, 2007

by Wordsworth Nothington

...We had people there. An expert of the Second, Fifth Air Squadron Command said, "At the end of the day, on the ground, Omnimental was given a signal by secular extremists to send a warning signal to other waring factions in the perimeter of the confilict zine."

The terrorists heard Omnimental's call for extreme measures and predictably, they followed him. Several Suni, Wackio, Dumbolim, and Crazyesh Muslims joined Omni in his band of extremists in a siege to take over the coalition force's education infrastructure. Despite the coalition force's immediate and authoritative response, the organized terror cell remains at large, plotting and scheming with new technologies that Omnimental has been preparing and perfecting in his hideout.

It is unknown why the coalition forces, having an actual dragnet that watches and controls the whole planet Earth, actually have let Omnimental become the terrorist threat that he has become. Condoleeza Rice, an expert on the psychology of dangerous fringe groups like the one Omnimental lords tyrannically over, says, "It is clear that Omnimental has the charisma and know-how to develop his mind weapons and to gain strong support among Crazyesh Muslim clerics. Just exactly why the coalition forces have neglected to take the time to infiltrate such a threat has yet to be analyzed by my office or by that of the president. We are in the process of finding ways to better deal with such threats and to communicate any developments in that effort."

7/25/2007 11:20:00 PM  
Blogger Dr. Bombay said...

There is a very interesting article
in the web archives of the New York
Observer titled: Did Anna Gaskell
get by with help from her friends?
I can't link to it, but I think
you will find it well worth your
time to track it down...

7/25/2007 11:29:00 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

Jeff and others said:

Some things that have come to me, some word of mouth, since yesterday's post. Theresa's "suicide note" was short and vague, and found typed on a computer. That is, it was not handwritten. She had no history of pill popping, and her cause of death is still officially undetermined...


"I have not read any other account that insinuates Ms. Duncan and Mr. Blake may have broken up prior to their deaths. In light of this, it may explain a possible reason for Ms. Duncan’s suicide. If one reads her recent posts of the last several days and weeks, it does seem that some posts indicate she may have been struggling with some emotional, relationship-related issues."

Or, since Blake is the one to bring out the story of 'finding Duncan's dead body', with the unattributable computer written note in their own apartment--why isn't he a suspect, particularly since he has now conveniently disappeared before the autopsy comes back?

It sounds closer to me that Blake may be attempting to keep from being investigated himself for murder by faking his death? And having (perhaps Anna) phone in the story to the press/newspaper? And why would Anna still have any contact with Blake?

Anna received an M.F.A. from Yale University in 1995. Her father died/murdered in 1991, then she is ward of Cowrie and packed off to Yale in 1992. Who paid for her Yale education, obviously that Iowa guy?

Additional connection:

"Gaskell deals with the notion of creating an artificial person. She dressed female students from Phillips Academy in Andover in white lab coats and cast them as young technicians undertaking this bizarre experiment."

Hard to get more hyperrich inherited patrician New England than that Academy (where GHW Bush went to school).


My Gosch. That's a thousand yard trauma stare if ever I saw one.

More on the death of Anna Gaskell's parents here:

Thanks for posting that.

Yale, Yale, Yale. So Anna was dating her photography professor Crewdson at Yale, eh? Crewdson arrives as a visiting lecturer at Yale the very year Anna get there, eh? Coincidence? By the way the late Teresa Duncan said that Anna was close friends with another young female who was doing the same thing and dating her professors in a California art school--and that that group was out to libel Teresa Duncan/Jeremy Blake. This gets more and more abstruce in its national network implications:

Like the Federal "Cointelpro" campaign that deliberately drove Seberg to suicide, the smear campaign against Wit and Mr. Wit uses as its basis pre-existing, completely invented smears started by married art professor Ralph Rugoff and his student girlfriend Hilary Chartrand in order to cover up their 2000 affair while both worked at the California College of Arts And Crafts. This is something that sharp-eyed Wit accidentally discovered during one particularly dreary art dinner in November of that year. Hilary Chartrand is friends with Anna Gaskell, who is also known for carrying on affairs with her married professors in order to have access to ethics-challenged art world log rollers like NY Times critic Roberta Smith and her husband Jerry Saltz. (See article below.)"

So the "Anna strategy" is carried on by a close friend of hers at another art univesity, eh?

Anna Gaskell's friend "Hilary Chartrand's background in screen-printing informs the way she looks at everyday objects. She uses the registration and color codes on security envelopes and box tabs as a starting point for her paper abstractions. These collages and sculptures re-examine the printing codes in terms of color and shape, and may or may not resemble their office supply origins."

There's probabaly nothing to Hilary Chartrand in a similar "Anna II" sort of way, though there is the strange 1999 job Hilary had

illustrating [rut roh...] "California’s Welfare and Health Programs— A Guide For Teens:

This booklet was written by the National Center for Youth Law and the Western Center on Law & Poverty, with the support of the Public Welfare Foundation. It is part of an advocacy project for teens affected by CalWORKs. For more information about our project, or more copies of this booklet, please contact us at (415) 543-3307 or
Please feel free to copy and distribute this booklet. Design: Nicola Ginzler Illustrations: Hilary Chartrand [friend of Anna Gaskell, according to Teresa Duncan]

Thus both Anna and Hiliary have very strange connections and art jobs dealing with pre-pubescent teens? And "state ward" infrastructure issues? What are the odds?

The official story is Anna dated her photo professor "of course only after" she graduated in 1995. However, both Anna Gaskell and her professor (Crewdon was made a visiting professor that same year, who had Anna's same tastes in art) both strangely arrive at Yale in 1992, as in sync? Or a year apart there?

Where did Blake come into Anna's life though? Yale as well? No, Blake from Iowa and "Anna'a past".

"According to Mr. Wit of the Staircase, aka artist Jeremy Blake, (who briefly dated Ms. Gaskell for a year or so as an undergrad in art school and who as such was more than once a personal guest of Mr. Cownie's in the early 1990s)...

Wait a minute. Jeff describes the Duncan/Blake long term tryst as 12 years old as of 2007, which would go back to 1995.

If Jeremy Blake/Anna Gaskell were both at Cownie's in Iowa "in the early 1990s", this means it that perhaps Jeremy was lying to Teresa? Because Anna Gaskell packed off to Yale in 1992 after her father is found dead in a park outside their house and only becomes a 21 year old ward of Cowrie from this point. So Jeremy is dating Anna right as her father is killed, and Jeremy assuredly dated her and they kept in touch while Anna was a Yale.

Jeremy had kept quiet all these years about his connection to Anna Gaskell, despite being close to Tereasa Duncan for 12 years? Jeremy only started to talk to Teresa Duncan about his past connections in the 1990s in Iowa to Anna Gaskell in 2006 as they started to be threatened, according to Duncan's post:

"Once the harassment of The Wits began, these disparate old Anna Gaskell anecdotes, which up to the late summer of 2006 had been completely unknown to me, began to suddenly bob up in Mr. Wit's memory. Mr. Wit's recollection was further jarred after we repeatedly witnessed Ms. Gaskell's brother Zach [supposedly living in Iowa] mysteriously pacing in front of our Venice California home. Then there were the many cars with Iowa license plates following us around Los Angeles at the time....

Is Anna's career in the media eye someone else's "legend" as they say in the spy trade? This is a revealing quote, if accurate, on Jeremy's view of his ex-girlfriend Anna Gaskell:

"Anyway, Ms. Gaskell and I don't seem to have much in common besides her very brief intersection with the life of Jeremy Blake, a period about which Mr. Wit says "She was so dumb, so arrogant and so mysteriously smug. She really thought she had some sort of advantage in every situation. I could never, ever figure out where that came from, because it sure wasn't coming from anything she did. But I guess now I know.")"

In early 2007, Teresa started going into and encouraging others in Iowa and (Hilary's homebase) California to get into Cowrie's money trail back in May she said:

"Also, as I mentioned above in the Cownie article, MK Ultra and other Strangelovian secret intelligence mind control techniques often used cults like the CoS, the Manson cult, and the Jim Jones cult to manipulate and infiltrate the left and the counterculture. This "Cointelpro" program using cults and hypnosis, mind control, etc. is now well known thanks to lawsuits filed against the CoS, the Federal govt. by victims of these programs, and through the declassification of documents related to these Federal programs. Also, a couple investigative journalists in the Midwest and California have been helping me look into Cownie's many companies' adresses, SEC filings, and other "follow the money" trails that conclusively point to [Cowrie] financial dealings with the entities I suggest in the article above."

So the "Anna strategy" is very similar to Anna's friend (no coincidence there) Hilary Chartrand in California:

"Conflict of interest, logrolling, mutual favors, jobs at Yale, vacations in the Berkshires: these are the alleged crimes and misdemeanors of art criticism's Keebler Elves, Jerry Saltz and Roberta Smith, according to an exceptional ad hominem attack by Jeffrey Hogrefe in his New York Observer column.

It seems that Roberta and Jerry promoted Anna Gaskell's career out of all proportion because she and Yale photography professor [who both arrive at Yale in 1992] Gregory Crewdson publicly date with Jerry and Roberta. [The article additionally indicates that Crewdson helped get some of these Yale positions as well.]

Three reviews by Jerry in Time Out, repeat reviews by Roberta in the Times, introductions to the Guggenheim's Young Collectors Council, all allegedly used by Smith and Saltz to load themselves up with the perks of the art-world good life.

Hogrefe's article characterizes Smith's supportive role as particularly "ambiguous" while quoting Salz dismissing the charges as "Academy Award stuff."

We barfed when we saw Gaskell's stupid derivative "Alice in Wonderland" series, bought at a deep discount by the Gugg from Casey Kaplan.

According to Hogrefe, Crewdson got Laurie Simmons a job at Yale, [and it was] Simmons [who] put Gaskell in a show at Kaplan's [and started the whole thing rolling], [and] Roberta and Jerry allegedly brought around the collectors and the press coverage, then they all spent their summers in the Berkshires together just like in a Woody Allen flick.

At Feature, Jerry Saltz told us [completely ignoring the actual charge], "I've never reviewed Crewdson, Roberta never reviewed Crewdson. He was discovered by Gary Indiana. Let them take potshots at us. It's good for the art world when critics are attacked. I've never met Jeffrey Hogrefe, couldn't tell you even what he looks like and have no idea what his motive is." {It's perhaps telling that this Jerry guy ignored in silence the main article's charge of his 'pimping' Anna Gaskell in his articles three times, not Crewdson.] And now we hear that Anna has dumped Crewdson!

That New York Observer article of 1998:


To be asked to make introductions to her [photography professor/] boyfriend seemed to pain Ms. Gaskell, who has achieved a phenomenal amount of success in a short year and a half. From being a relatively unknown but talented artist living in the East Village, she has become an artist with a solo show at the Casey Kaplan Gallery in SoHo that sold out before it opened. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum purchased a complete set of the photographs from that show. Her work has been included in a group show at the prestigious Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. She was invited to hang two prints for the reopening of the P.S. 1 Contemporary Arts Center last fall and another at Mary Boone in January. And this year, the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami and the Galerie Analix-B&L Polla in Geneva, Switzerland,...

[Anna Gaskell is]...[a] former studio assistant to Sally Mann, a photographer whose use of her [own siblings] nude children as subjects caused a stir a few years back...


Ms. Gaskell's recognition has coincided exactly with the period of time that she has been involved romantically with Mr. Crewdson, her former professor at Yale. And there is an impression in the insular art world that, despite Ms. Gaskell's talents, Mr. Crewdson is personally responsible for making her a success. Their careers have become inextricably linked in a way that hasn't been the case for more than a generation. You have to go back to pre-feminist days to find parallels: Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner, Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O'Keeffe. Said one Yale graduate from the 1970's who asked not to be identified: "Women of my generation made their names on their own merits. You don't think of Cindy Sherman and then think of who her husband or boyfriend was. This, unfortunately, is the case for Anna Gaskell."

'Talent Is Only Part of It'

"Anna is clearly being groomed for a position in the art world," said Lois Conners, a colleague of Mr. Crewdson's in the Yale graduate photography program.

One of Ms. Gaskell's fellow students from Yale who asked not to be named put the situation into a neat equation: "You have 16 students who were in the photography department at the same time. Out of those students, the one with possibly the least amount of promise comes out as a rising art star. She also happens to be the one who is dating the teacher."

Mr. Crewdson, 35, a photographer known for his surrealistic black-and-white prints of Middle American scenes inspired by Twin Peaks -style melodrama, shows his work at the Luhring Augustine Gallery in SoHo. He began teaching as a visiting lecturer at Yale's graduate school in 1992, the year before Ms. Gaskell joined the program. [or the year of?]

[So immediately after her father was found dead in 1991 across from her house in a park, Anna is packed off to Yale entering in 1992 on obviously that guy Cowrie's money?]

7/26/2007 02:15:00 AM  
Blogger Emlon said...

Gaskell has married Douglas Gordon.
Charley Finch in ArtNet has a comment or 2.

This is all looking pretty much snarky art-world par-for-the-course.

Party for Anna Gaskell
A Different Kind of World

Tony and Heather Podesta hosted an intimate gathering for New York-based artist Anna Gaskell, whose work is featured throughout the couple's D.C. home. Gaskell burst onto the art scene in the late 1990's and immediately caught the attention of critics internationally. Her work has been described as cinematic, profound and provocative and features the use of theatrical techniques to enhance and manipulate her photographs in a number of different ways. The subjects are often young girls and two of her well-known series of photographs, “Wonder” and “Override” are loosely based on Lewis Carroll's “ Alice in Wonderland”.

Gaskell was in town with her husband, artist Douglas Gordon, whose own exhibition is on view from February 12 through May 9 at The Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden . The exhibition includes large-scale projected video installations, text pieces, still photographs and filmed images on video monitors. Gordon is a Scottish artist known for his film and video installations based on classic Hollywood movies. The exhibit includes an all-day screening of Gordon's internationally acclaimed “24 Hour Psycho,” which slows Hitchcock's film from a 109-minute movie to 24 hour-long large screen show, compelling people to focus on every detail of the thriller.

Anna Gaskell, future's eve
2001, published by New Langton Arts, San Francisco; designed by Michael Abbink and Joshua Distler.
Commemorating future's eve, an installation of Anna Gaskell's film and drawings, this catalog features an interview by Langton's Program Director James Bewley with Gaskell. The catalog includes film stills and pen and ink drawings by Gaskell, as well as informative texts providing insight to Gaskell as inventor, seducer, and artist.

7/26/2007 02:52:00 AM  
Blogger Juke said...

My instinct says Theresa Duncan didn't suicide. My instinct's been wrong before, but it's also consistently called me from where the deeper, verifiable, undeniable weirdness steps out.
The readily apparent love Duncan had for Blake makes it bizarre to the point of implausibility that she'd leave "at peace", unless something had altered that relationship profoundly. The only other normal explanation for it would be a medical death sentence recently received.
She was way too cool for this, is my basic stance. Too cool, too smart, and too brave.
Not too brave to kill herself, if that was the heart's next move - too brave to go out weak behind a cloud of suspicion.
She knew she had readers and she was loyal. She had a lot of love. None of that got shown in her exit. What changed?
What happened?
I feel, again, incompetent and cowardly and slothful to the threshold of self-condemnation.
I wish I'd written her, just to say hey, thanks, yes.

7/26/2007 03:15:00 AM  
Blogger Formerly Fooled said...

This is a large article you've written, so I will reserve comment on most of it until another time. For now I need to take issue with you on the comment you made about Anna and Jeremy and him possibly lying to Theresa about his relationship with Gaskell.

Please do your research before you make comments that suggest someone has lied to another. It just creates more rumors, which in this case, can be used for topping off
other rumors running rampant.

Jeremy and Anna attended undergrad school together at the same Chicago school during the years 1990 and mid 1992 - possibly through the fall of 1992. Here are the facts:

Jeremy Blake attended and received in 1993 a B.F.A.from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Gaskell's father died in April of 1992 when she was still a student in Chicago. She may have been on spring break when he died. Jeremy may have even been to her home on a vacation from school in the spring or summer of 1992.

He most probably was visiting her while she straighten out her family situation with Cownie in
charge. She was probably already in his home by the time summer vacxation arrived in 1992. Anna "received an M.F.A. from Yale University in 1995." which means she may well have graduated from Chicago Art later in the fall of 1992, which would make sense because of family issues of the past spring.

I see nothing here suggesting that Jeremy was lying to Theresa, so please correct the record because and the times do fit.

re: Your comment
Anna Gaskell "studied at Bennington College for two years before attending the Art

Institute of Chicago, where she received a B.F.A. in 1992"
"If Jeremy Blake/Anna Gaskell were both at Cownie's in Iowa "in the early 1990s", this means it that perhaps Jeremy was lying to Teresa? Because Anna Gaskell packed off to Yale in 1992 after her father is found dead in a park outside their house and only becomes a 21 year old ward of Cowrie from this point. So Jeremy is dating Anna right as her father is killed, and Jeremy assuredly dated her and they kept in touch while Anna was a Yale."

8/17/2007 03:20:00 PM  
Blogger Chus said...

Amidst the subtle cerebral circumvention of the gullible populace, through a multitude of manipulated mediums, lies one of the most diabolical atrocities perpetrated upon a segment of the human race; a form of systematic mind control which has permeated every aspect of society for almost fifty years.To objectively ascertain the following, one may need to re-examine preconceived ideologies relating to the dualistic nature of mankind.

11/10/2008 06:07:00 AM  
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Blogger gang stalking said...

I think there is more to their deaths. Look up the term Gang Stalking. What happened to them is happening to a lot of people.

Theresa years ago had a workplace altercation with a coworker where she was escorted from the building, it was their second altercation. I think she was fired and banned after this. In many cases under occupational health and safety laws, you can have a warning marker placed on your file. Eg. Serious risk, only to be seen in twos. Etc. The warning marker follows you whereever you go.

When the community get these warning, they act frantic and this usually sets up a pattern of harassment, and stalking. Eg. Being followed around. This goes on for years none stop. Doesn't matter if you move from L.A. to New York the same thing happens, cause the warning markers are on your file. Also Theresa commented and due to the stalking had some interactions with neighbours where she said some things. Things that would have been added to her file.

These lists have created mini stasi villages in every community. The person on these lists often notice a type of systemic blacklisting. Trouble getting work, for what was a once promising career.

Also under occupational health and safety fit for duty laws are being used to list people as mentally unwell, even without live evaluations with a health professional.

If Theresa was placed on a list, then the same thing that happens to other targets would have been happening to her. Yes many of them also die mysteriously, commit suicide, are placed in jail, mental wards, or made homeless.

Please look up the term Gang Stalking. I think this is what happened to her.

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