Rendering What Remains is open-form opera that includes staged events, exhibitions, and text. 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 Portrayalswill premier in New York at The Kitchen Dec 14 &15 2017. The libretto will be published as a work of experimental auto-fiction, edited by Annie Godfrey Larmon.
Previous support has been generously provided by the Boghossian Foundation, the Watermill Center & the Spoken Glass Production Fund.