Directory of Portrayals

Music & Score

Scene List




Rendering What Remains is an open-form opera that revolves around a conversation between two estranged sisters. Formatted as a series of performances, an exhibition, films and a book called Directory of Portrayals, the work draws its structure from a libretto, written by Motalebi, based on an ongoing text-based exchange between the artist and her sister, who lives in Iran. Though the sisters look strikingly similar, they have never met in person. Registering the complex dynamics of intimacy, identity, and cultural difference that underpin this dialogue, the work reflects more broadly on the nature of knowledge, subjectivity, and the indeterminate contours of relationality in digital communication.

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Previous support has been generously provided by the Boghossian Foundation, the Watermill Center & the Spoken Glass Production Fund.