Directory of Portrayals is open-form opera that includes performances, exhibitions, and text. The work draws its structure from a libretto based on an ongoing, online exchange between myself and my sister, a conservative muslim and english teacher, who lives in Iran. Though we bear a striking resemblance, we have never been able to meet in person before 2018. As this relationship and its context has expanded in the last few years, so too has the opera—its various media are interposed between various timescales of our global digital world and untranslatable geographical and cultural narratives. Complicated by its digital formatting, my relationship with my sibling has informed the opera’s experiments in narrativity and performance which speak to the current conditions of self, of intimacy and of knowledge—beyond material borders and at the limits of subjective projection and interchange.  This story and its component parts play out against the backdrop of its own production, within which the opera moves between an elusive, speculative totality of an imagined full production, and its disparate, artifactual parts. Expanding and deconstructing limits of autobiography and representation, my roles as actor, director, architect, and composer are interspersed with historical texts, poetry, and AI translation. The final form of this work will include its various iterative performances, the libretto as a work of experimental auto-fiction, a 20-minute opera-film, and a body of scenographic painting and sculpture. The libretto will be published as a work of experimental auto-fiction edited by Annie Godfrey Larmon. 

FULL PROJECT STATEMENT - MAY 2019

Miami Rail Spring 2018

Many thanks to the 80WSE, Whitney Museum of American Art, Watermill Center, Boghossian Foundation, National Sawdust, The Kitchen, Swiss Institute, The National Arts Club, The Corporation of Yaddo, and the Graham Foundation.

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2017 @ Paula Court

2017 @ Paula Court

2017 © Paula Court

2017 © Paula Court

© Sahra Motalebi, Courtesy of the Artist

© Sahra Motalebi, Courtesy of the Artist

Courtesy Swiss Institute, © Daniel Perez

Courtesy Swiss Institute, © Daniel Perez

© Sahra Motalebi, Courtesy of the artist.

© Sahra Motalebi, Courtesy of the artist.

Prelude NY Festival © 2016 Paula Court

Prelude NY Festival © 2016 Paula Court