glimpses from cerebria

“you offer us textures, showerings –
gifts from the sun, moon and comets -” – textures of cerebria

Glimpses of the noumenal from the realm of cerebria. This is a folio of a word piece and 10 digital photomontages from 2020 – 2021. Each photomontage has an associated fragment of scripture. Archival prints are available up to A2 size.

Here is a clavis, or key, to the realm of cerebria.

(There are earlier folios about cerebria and its inhabitants: fishes of cerebria, fires of cerebria, tales from cerebria, and postcards from cerebria.)

The works in this folio use background images by Max Hutzel (1911-1988), who photographed in Italy from the early 1960s until his death. The result of this exhaustive and elegant project (over 72,000 images) was referred to by Hutzel as Foto Arte Minore – a documentation of art historical developments in Italy up to the 18th century.

In the Vaults of Our Realm

glimpses from cerebria no 1

1In the vaults of our realm, sailors chance, occasionally, upon unknown figures. 2Lithe, unskinned, these figures instruct in silence, then dematerialise. 3They are mere glimpses. 4What are the remains, the texts and figurations, the markings on the walls before which they materialise?

In a Ruined Pagan Chapel

glimpses from cerebria no 2

1In a ruined pagan chapel, sailors once scribed roundels and motifs, in reverence to the wise birds of our realm. 2And some sailors spoke of the glimpsed visitation of a golden goose.

Early Light Played on an Ancient Tiled Wall

glimpses from cerebria no 3

1Early light played on an ancient tiled wall. 2As the light flickered, we glimpsed fugitive forms. 3Were these forms adumbrations of our progenitors? 4As we wondered, a peacock appeared, resplendent. 5It dropped its colours to the floor to reveal a golden essence.

The Jester Chanced Upon a Fiery Whisk

glimpses from cerebria no 4

1The jester chanced upon a fiery whisk. 2Well versed in the diagramming of meteor showers, he hurried back with it to his abode. 3He felt he had glimpsed a truth about the meteors that pass over cerebria. 4Established in his abode, he was forced to rework his models.

A Diviner Was Intent Upon Exploring

glimpses from cerebria no 5

1A diviner was intent upon exploring the roots of the pagan faith that left now-crumbling edifices in our realm. 2He had applied his findings, in the form of celestial and sidereal figures, to a canvas consisting of an inner wall of one of these edifices. 3At a point of realisation of an ancient truth he glimpsed a large ruby-coloured serpent.

A Sailor in a Vaulted Room

glimpses from cerebria no 6

1A sailor in a vaulted room was contemplating the moon. 2Warm light beams began to fall on him. 3Then, in a paroxysm, he glimpsed himself as complex golden pathways.

In an Abandoned Town

glimpses from cerebria no 7

1In an abandoned town that had been inhabited by pagans, two sailors, who were mere tattooed skins, glimpsed an abode that was different from the others. 2This they studied, then fell into a reverie.

Sailors Were Exploring

glimpses from cerebria no 8

1Sailors were exploring a disused place of worship. 2They noticed that motifs of red and green had been recently scribed on the old walls. 3As they contemplated these motifs a winged fiery sun appeared and they were stunned to silence.

A Crypt Into Which Sunlight Spilled

glimpses from cerebria no 9

1A crypt into which sunlight spilled had been prepared for a dedication. 2We know not by whom it had been prepared. 3Yet it offered us glimpses of understanding of the three visiting voids and the indeterminate nature of their gender. 4We now know the visiting voids to be sublime androgynes.

Reflecting on a Forgotten Faith

glimpses from cerebria no 10

1Reflecting on a forgotten faith, we often spent time in the derelict and ruined buildings dear to its adherents. 2Once, as we explored amongst rubble, we glimpsed a fiery meteor that was as a ballistic in its accuracy in entering a window. 3We fell down in reverence to the ways of the voids.

In a Regal Room

in a regal room

1There is a regal room in cerebria where sailors attend lectures given by the diviners. 2Through exquisite windows they catch glimpses of the harbour below, glittering in the sun. 3Waiting for the diviners to appear, some have caught glimpses of the young goddess acanui, passing quickly through the room as though a still bird in flight.

At a Shrine For Acanui

shrine for acanui

shrine for acanui (detail)


1There is a beach in cerebria where sailors have combined remnants from other edifices to form a shrine for acanui. 2From time to time she is said to visit this shrine.
Image Sources:

“In the Vaults of Our Realm” – Figure: from G. Scotin, “An écorché figure, front view, with left arm extended, showing the outermost layers of the muscles”, engraving, 1747 (after Bernhard Siegfried Albinus, 1697-1770). Background: from Max Hutzel, “Lazio–Latina–Sermoneta–Castello Caetani, Image 11”, 1960 – 1990, credit Getty Open Content Program.

“In a Ruined Pagan Chapel” – Goose: from Nicolaes de Bruyn, “Swan and geese and ducks”, engraving, 1594 – 1644. Horse and rider (left): from Max Hutzel, “Lazio–Frosinone–Veroli–S. Andrea Apostolo, Cathedral, Image 87” (metalwork box), 1960 – 1990”. Bird (right): from Max Hutzel, “Lazio–Frosinone–Veroli–S. Andrea Apostolo, Cathedral, Image 77” (metalwork box), 1960 – 1990”. Crest (left): from Max Hutzel, “Tuscany–Siena–Montalcino–Museo Diocesano, Image 150”, 1960 – 1990”. Crest (right): from Max Hutzel, “Tuscany–Siena–Montalcino–Museo Diocesano, Image 151”, 1960 – 1990”. Background: from Max Hutzel, “Umbria–Perugia–Schifanoia–S. Michele Arcangelo, Image 17”, 1960 – 1990. (All Hutzel photos credit Getty Open Content Program.)

“Early Light Played on an Ancient Tiled Wall” – Peacock: from Nicolaes de Bruyn, “Two peacocks and turkey”, engraving, 1594. Background: from Max Hutzel, “Lazio–Roma–Rome–S. Pudenziana, Image 79”, 1960 – 1990, credit Getty Open Content Program.

“The Jester Chanced Upon a Fiery Whisk” – Jester: from Petrus Camper (possibly), “Jester with a whisk in his hand“, engraving, 1735. Diagram on wall: from “Orbits of the August and November Meteor Showers. (Orbits of Comets III., 1862, and I., 1866.)” (Fig. 284 from the book “Spectrum analysis in its application to terrestrial substances, and the physical constitution of the heavenly bodies”, authors: Heinrich Schellen, Caroline Lassell, Jane Lassell. Longmans, Green and Co., 1885). Background: from Max Hutzel, “Lazio–Latina–Bassiano–Santuario del SS. Crocifisso, Image 5”, 1960 – 1990, credit Getty Open Content Program.

“A Diviner Was Intent Upon Exploring” – Man: from the book by Helkiah Crooke, “Sōmatographia anthrōpinē. Or a description of the body of man / By artificiall figures representing the members, and fit termes expressing the same”, 1616. Two diagrams on wall: from the book by Wilem Jacob’s Gravesande, “Physices elementa mathematica, experimentis confirmata. Sive Introductio ad philosophiam Newtonianam”, 1742. Snake: from Anon., “Eagle and snake“, engraving, Antwerp, 1670. Background: from Max Hutzel, “Lombardy–Milano–Milan–S. Ambrogio, Image 19”, 1960 – 1990, credit Getty Open Content Program.

“A Sailor in a Vaulted Room” – Man: from the book by Helkiah Crooke, “Sōmatographia anthrōpinē. Or a description of the body of man / By artificiall figures representing the members, and fit termes expressing the same”, 1616. Moon: from John Adams Whipple and James Wallace Black, “The Moon”, salted paper print from glass negative, 1857–60. Background: from Max Hutzel, “Lazio–Roma–Rome–S. Paolo, Image 786”, 1960 – 1990, credit Getty Open Content Program.

“In an Abandoned Town” – Abode: from clay sculpture by the artist. Figures: from “Human skin tattooed with fruit, snake, figures and leopard, French, 1850-1920, purchased from La Valette in 1929”, Science Museum London. Background: from Max Hutzel, “Basilicata–Matera–Matera–S. Lucia alle Malve, Image 2”, 1960 – 1990, credit Getty Open Content Program.

“Sailors Were Exploring” – Sun: image from GREGOR telescope, Teide Observatory, Spain. Wings: from Nicolò Ricciolini (1687 – 1772), “Studies for Saint Michael Defeating the Rebel Angels”. Background: from Max Hutzel, “Umbria–Perugia–Spello–S. Maria della Rotonda, Image 20”, 1960 – 1990, credit Getty Open Content Program, coloured symbols added.

“A Crypt Into Which Sunlight Spilled” – Voids: from sculpture by the artist, bronze, 1992. Background: from Max Hutzel, “Tuscany–Siena–Montalcino (environs)–Abbey of S. Antimo–Abbey church, Image 111”, 1960 – 1990, credit Getty Open Content Program, colour added.

“Reflecting on a Forgotten Faith” – Meteor: digital painting. Background: from Max Hutzel, “Marches–Pesaro–Fossombrone–Museo Civico A. Vernarecci, Image 6”, 1960 – 1990, credit Getty Open Content Program.

“In a Regal Room” – Background: from “Emilia-Romagna–Ferrara–Pomposa–Abbazia di Pomposa, Museo, Image 75”, Max Hutzel, 1960 – 1990, credit Getty Open Content Program.

“At a Shrine For Acanui” – Columns: from Anon., “Pompey’s Pillar, Alexandria”, albumen print, c. 1870. Plinth: from Agostino Veneziano, “Corinthia”, drawing, Italy, 1536. Sophia Image: from Anon., “Icon of Divine Wisdom”, St George Church, Vologda, c16. Background: from Max Hutzel, “Lazio–Roma–Santa Severa-Castello, Image 1”, 1960 – 1990”, credit Getty Open Content Program.