Sahra Motalebi is a visual artist, composer, vocalist and writer born in Birmingham Alabama. Her work includes vocal performance and recordings, opera, installation, painting, sculpture and video. Motalebi’s projects lay at the intersections of visual culture, architecture, and performance within which she explores the construction of narrative, its events and artifacts.

Motalebi's work has been exhibited and she performed internationally at the Kitchen, SculptureCenter, New Museum of Contemporary Art, Museum Ludwig, Hydra School Projects, Watermill Center, the Villa Empain, Primetime, Gavin Brown's Enterprise.  In 2008 Motalebi’s multi-channel video installation and vocal performance “Such is the Game of Authenticity” was performed at MoMA PS1. Her shadow play “Intangible Heritages, Belief’s Demise” was presented at SculptureCenter in 2014 as part of In Practice. She performed “Sounds from Untitled Skies” at The Kitchen in New York on September 15, 2015. Motalebi will present a series of exhibitions, staged performances, and a book as part of an opera called "Rendering What Remains" over 2016 and 2017.   

Motalebi has also contributed to many collaborative performance projects including the theater piece “I Will Be Last” with artist Kai Althoff in 2008 at the Vancouver Art Gallery and again with Althoff in two improvisational musical performances for Althoff’s solo show ''Punkt, Absatz, Blümli (period, paragraph, Bluemli)'' (2011) at Gladstone Gallery. Motalebi also performed with Antony Hegarty (Antony & the Johnsons) in 2008 at the premier of Hegarty's release of Another World EP at the former Clocktower Gallery. She created a score of sound pieces and vocal music for ''Settlement House'', a four-hour, multi-space dance piece by Will Rawls at the Abrons Art Center in 2015. As part of a Performa 15 commission by artists Jesper Just and FOS, Motalebi performed as a solo improvisational vocalist in their installation "in the shadow/ of a spectacle/ is the view of the crowd". In 2016, Motalebi performed in a play called Love Life by Sibyl Kempson as part "12 Shouts to the Ten Forgotten Heavens", a three year commission by Kempson for the Whitney Museum of American Art. Motalebi's soundtrack for Sophia Al-Maria's film The Limerent Object will premier at the Biennale of Moving Images 2016 at the Centre for Contemporary Art in Geneva.  Motalebi will perform an original solo vocal composition as part of Asad Raza's installation at the Whitney Biennial in 2017. 

In 2007 Motalebi co-founded the independent music label Static Recital on which she has released several scores from her performances, five studio albums, and collaborations with other artists. Motalebi started the multipurpose production company { D I O R A M A } in 2010, and the nonprofit project Spoken Glass Productions in 2015, each to facilitate the realization of her larger interdisciplinary projects as well as those of others artists.  In 2013, Motalebi produced Yves Klein’s ''Monotone Silence Symphony'' presented by Dominique Lévy and the Yves Klein Archives. She is a consulting dramaturg and producer for Sibyl Kempson's 7 Daughters of Eve Theater & Performance Company. 

Motalebi studied classical vocal performance, visual art, and the history of art and architecture at Sarah Lawrence College. She attended the Master of Architecture Program at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture focusing on the relationship between architecture, performance. She lives in New York.


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