The Voice At 3AM
I, who am only an incomprehensible Bit of scribble… —Charles Simic
In this show, Vicki Sher pairs a new series of drawings with video.
The Voice at 3AM, titled after a collection of poetry by Charles Simic, aims to evoke a particular mood, rather than a specific narrative. Life at 3AM is both wakeful and dreamy, quiet and anxious, full of both longing and dread. All of the drawings and video in the show arose from a specific method. Sher whispers poetry to herself by recording it on her phone and playing it back in her ear while drawing. This underlying “whisper track” serves as the foundation on which Sher builds her imagery. The act of whispering into her own ear was both intimate and otherworldly, as the poems, and resulting imagery, represent an effort to tap into energy that occupies unfamiliar territory and a separate frequency of experience. Corresponding to this drawing activity, Sher’s animated video contains a whispered layer of audio. A diverse assortment of spoken word recordings, including poetry by Charles Simic, Driver’s Ed manual segments about speeding, television listings, and more are woven together beneath the music. For Sher, all these samples connect to a voice of uncertainty, limitation, frustration and a thirst for substance. The video follows a central character, hearts on her sleeves, as she navigates a landscape, at times forbidding, of moving drawings and found imagery.