Of course, like anybody I repeat myself endlessly, ??
but I don’t know that I’m doing it, usually. Brian Eno
Ceara Metlikovec works in an atmosphere sodden in the glitches and repetitive rasping of Radiohead. It’s not an entirely meditative state that Radiohead invites – theirs is a sound that gets under the skin and quietly inflames and agitates. You sense the quiver and vibration of sound as much as the tone and I know that this dermal-vibrato is what “gets” Metlikovec.
That our own bodies have a vibration that is utterly peculiar to each of us is a fairly curious thought. Of all the traits we convince ourselves we project, or we believe we can read in others, vibration is some way down the list. One imagines keyboard player Ray Manzarek, clutching a well-worn copy of Aldous Huxley’s The Doors of Perception, adoringly talking about “Jim’s vibe”. It became a kind of 60s slang for some ineffable energy, recognized but unspoken, a revealingly truthful trait that only the “gifted” and sensitive can perceive. You could be forgiven for worrying that it’s close to palm readings and The Beach Boys lyrics…” I’m picking up good vibrations…she’s giving me excitations…”
I need to state firmly that though Metlikovec herself declares a deep interest in the transmissions and energies that enliven our bodies, her interest is more empirical and less mystical…or at least it is from this position that her works begin.
Metlikovec sets a relatively orthodox rectangular field to work in though the positioning of this field on the page can vary. This positioning heightens the sense that we are seeing a slice of a larger genome map…a window to a world of seemingly endless variation in tone and pressure.
As viewers there may be a recognition of the flux and oscillation as a folding of implied physical space but the more one is with the works, the undulations seem less about this illusion, rather each vertical band works in concert to assert evidence of presence, hers and ours – simultaneously certain and irresolute. These drawings, like a seismographic record of a deeper (im)pulse. In a sense they might be seen as a low voltage self-portrait – a tonal recording of energy.
Agnes Martin said that “art is the most concrete representation of our most subtle feelings” and that her “…paintings are not about what is seen. They are about what is known forever in the mind”. One might substitute “feelings” for vibrations – something so very “subtle” and “forever known”.