​Book Review

The Daily Art Source

Review of Phaneagrams by Jake Berry

In the people of the Tungus it is customary to, “During the entering of the spirits the elders examine the candidate who…must tell the whole history of the spirit, with all details, such as who it had been before….” What Jake Berry has brought to form is an emission of clarity for a very tumultuous time. Easily a continuation of some of his best work. Mr. Berry writes, “bring the riot/ chemist of seven bells & the/ elemental beasts.” Any review of Jake Berry’s work will undoubtedly mention William Blake because he works with the likes of oblivion and the terminology that could define a modern reading of his work. A “chemist of seven bells” would accurately describe his work in Brambu Drezzi.

Mr Berry writes further into the manuscript, “From the basement/ the sequence begins/ hybrid nuclei/ the killer’s mask/ rumblings to vine/ in a red glass tube/ the radio/ Heraclitus stole.” One can imagine the killer’s mask being worn while dancing half-consciously. This entire volume is a valued text, not unlike Berry’s previous work, “Scratching Face”.

There is ascendance, and yes, the influence of William Blake but also great mythology of self. The cultural differences between the practitioner and the work seem to be part of the ritual. As you can imagine there is no way to dissociate the work from the place that it is taking you. As Walt Whitman once wrote, “I swear I begin to see the meaning of these things.”

Chris Mansel

Quote from Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy by Mircea Eliade, 1964
Walt Whitman quote from Leaves of Grass