Directory of Portrayals
(from Rendering What Remains)
Directory of Portrayals (from Rendering What Remains) is open-form opera that includes staged events, exhibitions, and texts. The work draws its structure from a libretto, written by Motalebi, based on an ongoing, online exchange between the artist and her sister, who lives in Iran. Though they bear a striking resemblance, they have never met in person. Motalebi moves between multichannel video sets, spoken text, and musical scores, registering the complicated dynamics of identity, intimacy, and translation that underpin this dialogue. Taking the production of the opera itself as a subject as well, the work reflects more broadly on interiority, performance, and their artifacts—on and offline, on and off stage.
An iteration of this work called Directory of Portrayals will premier in New York at The Kitchen Dec 14 &15 2017. An epilogue version of the opera will then be part of the Lunar Intervals performance series at the Swiss Institute in New York in the spring of 2018. The libretto will be published as a work of experimental auto-fiction edited by Annie Godfrey Larmon and will also be the subject of a panel at NYU’s 80WSE Gallery in the Spring of 2018.
Previous support has been generously provided by the Boghossian Foundation, the Watermill Center & the Spoken Glass Production Fund.
photo credits: Prelude Festival © 2016 Paula Court, Production Collage 2016-2017, courtesy of the artist.