Such is the Game of Authenticity (2009)
8-channel video Installation and vocal performance
November 18, 2009 | MoMA PS1, Queens, New York
Such is the Game of Authenticity is a 35 minute musical performance that takes place within an 8-channel video installation in the main hall at MoMA PS1. Two identical videos are projected side by side as a digital backdrop for Motalebi's vocal performance; in these videos the camera surveys a large industrial interior punctuated by paper stage-sets, filmed by Colin Whitaker. Six related videos featuring a sculptural stage-set from the 'Studies in Authenticity (Crystal Series)' are also projected throughout the gallery, refracting this locus of staging and the visual dramaturgy of the performance in a 360 degree span. More recently composed music from the performance will be released as Tender Mortal Means, EP (Static Recital, 2010).
With video projections running as a virtual backdrop, this piece best articulates my interest up until this point in the capacity of vocal performance to mid-wife experience, and the participation of the audience of a result of that. This performance is an exploration of vocal expression - what it means to use the voice in a way that conducts the most human of gestures possible - but also expressionism as an artistic idiom in general. I had a certain mise en scene in mind, one that vaguely conjures Greek theater and also early music videos from the 80s, but if they were married inside a paper thin Goetheanum. Both gorgeous and possibly cringe-making, simple but by no means inane, or ironic; earnest, but also certainly spiritual; virtuosic and scary, but not at all mean-spirited.
New Mexico, April 2009
Watch the video and listen to the single "Migrators" from on Interview Magazine here.