Blank Forms, 2022. Softcover, 287pp., 5.5 x 8 inches
In Partners, writer, librarian, and teacher Stephen Housewright paints an intimate portrait of a lifetime spent with Jerry Hunt (1943–1993), a Texas-born artist and musician with an astonishing mind and a mystifying practice. Hunt was a singular figure in the world of new music, and one of the most radically unorthodox artists of his generation. His remarkable yet underknown work incorporated motion- and sensor-activated technologies, readymade props, eccentric choreographies, and sixteenth-century astrology into performance and composition. While he orbited avant-garde worlds in the United States and Europe, his personal life, spent largely on a ranch in rural Texas, remained elusive.
In this memoir-cum-biography, Housewright narrates a life spent together, beginning in high school as a closeted couple in East Texas and ending with Hunt’s battle with cancer and his eventual suicide in 1993, the subject of one of his most harrowing works on video, How to Kill Yourself Using the Inhalation of Carbon Monoxide (1993). Including private correspondence with, and thrilling anecdotes about, Hunt’s friends, family, and art world peers, Partners is an essential introduction to Jerry Hunt, and one that only Housewright could share.