Sahra Motalebi is a visual artist and vocalist born in Birmingham Alabama, 1979.  Motalebi's work includes vocal performance and recordings, installation, painting, sculpture and video. Her projects lay at the intersections of contemporary art, architecture, and performance within which she explores constructions of narrative, its events and artifacts.

Motalebi's work has been exhibited and performed internationally at the The Kitchen, MoMA PS1, New Museum of Contemporary Art, Museum Ludwig, SculptureCenter, Abrons Art Center, Vancouver Art Gallery, and Gavin Brown’s Enterprise.  She has collaborated with Kai Althoff, Antony Hegarty, Jesper Just, Mariah Robertson, Will Rawls, Sibyl Kempson and Sophia Al-Maria. 

Motalebi attended Sarah Lawrence College and Columbia University. She lives in New York.



2017 - 2016 Rendering What Remains
opera including open rehearsals, staged performances, exhibitions and text
Watermill Center, Water Mill, NY
National Sawdust, Brooklyn, NY
Villa Empain, Brussels, Belgium

2015 Sounds from Untitled Skies
40 min, vocal performance and video installation
The Kitchen, New York, NY
Hydra School Projects, Hydra, Greece
Crowley Theater, Marfa, TX

2014 Intangible Heritages, Belief’s Demise
vocal performance and video installation for In Practice: Chance Motives
SculptureCenter, Long Island City, NY

2013 Iterations (Concrete) I & II
vocal piece, dance performance and sound piece for four rooms
Dominique Lévy at Academy Mansion, New York, NY

2012 Life is God’s Musical: 4 Movements with Mariah Robertson
vocal sound piece and a cappella choral performance
for Art in Embassies 50th Year Celebration
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C.

2012 Ibex [diagrams for an empty stage]
video, vocal performance and installation,
Primetime and Know More Games, Brooklyn, NY

2011 3rds, Shards & Space
sculpture installation and vocal performance,
Ofr, Paris, FR

2011 collaborative closing performances
for Kai Althoff’s Punkt, Absatz, Blümli (period, paragraph, Bluemli)
Gladstone Gallery, New York, NY

2010 Spoken Glass
sculpture installation and vocal performance,
Primetime, Brooklyn, NY

2009 Such is the Game of Authenticity
8-channel video installation and vocal performance
Saturday Sessions100 Years (version #2, ps1, nov 2009)
MoMA PS1, Queens, NY

2009 Studies for Authenticity
sculpture installation
Historic Bank Gallery, Tularosa, NM

2008 I Will Be Last with Kai Althoff
collaborative dance-theater performance,
Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC

2008 for Cleopatra’s Come On
vocal performance
Cleopatra’s, Brooklyn, NY

2008 Blankenship
vocal performance
for Get Weird performance series,
New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, NY

2008 Before the Tender Mortal Means
vocal performance
Clemente Soto Velez Theater, New York, NY

2006 Feeding the Ghosts
vocal performance
Hiro Ballroom at The Maritime Hotel, New York, NY


2015 Only 2.5 hours from GWB
curated by Pia Dehne
Hamden Inn, Hamden, NY

2015 The Genuine Fake
curated by Dimitrios Antonitsis
Hydra School Projects, Hydra, Greece

2009 Survey: a group show
curated by vPPR
vPPR, London, UK

2009 Cleopatra's: Trade Secrets
curated by Cleopatra’s
John Connelly Presents, New York, NY

2009  Apartment Show #1
curated by Joshua Smith
Apartment #1 Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NY

2007 Cabin Fever: New Drawings
Rivington Arms, New York, NY

2007 Underbite/Overbite
curated by Darren Bader and Mirabelle Marden
Ritter Zamet, London, UK

2007 Wu/Googolplex
curated by Darren Bader
Gavin Brown’s Enterprise/Passerby, New York, NY

2004 A Woman’s Work
curated by Melissa Bent and Mirabelle Marden
Lower Eastside Girls Club, New York, NY

2003 Be In
Rivington Arms, New York, NY    


2015 Aurora Dallas
First United Methodist Church, Dallas, TX


2015 Sounds from Untitled Skies (EP, Static Recital)
record and mixed at Red Bull Studios New York

2014 Intangible Heritages, Belief’s Demise (EP, Static Recital)

2013 Iterations (Concrete) I & II - LIVE
featuring Matt Marinelli, Sam Greenleaf Miller Katy Pyle, Juri Onuki
Dominique Lévy at Academy Mansion, New York, NY

2011 - 2010 Spoken Glass (EP, Static Recital)

2010 Untitled - piano versions (EP, Static Recital)
arrangements by Jay Israelson
performance - installation Such is the Game of Authenticity at MoMA/PS1, Queens, NY.

2009 Migrators, video (Static Recital)
performance & original music with Jay Israelson
Video directed by Colin Whitaker, premiere Interview Magazine Online.

2009 - 2008 Tender Mortal Means (EP, Static Recital)
performance - installation Such is the Game of Authenticity at MoMA/PS1, Queens, NY.

2008 - 2007 Pearling, video performance & original music,
Video directed by Brett Milspaw.

2007 Blankenship (EP, Static Recital)

2006 Feeding the Ghosts (EP, Static Recital)


2016 12 Shouts to the Ten Forgotten Heavens, Sibyl Kempson
performance for theater piece
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
2015 the shadow / of a spectacle / is the view of the crowd, Jesper Just and FOS
vocal performance for multimedia installation as part of Performa15
World Trade Center Complex, New York, NY

2015 Settlement House, Will Rawls
vocal performance and sound installation for a 4-hour choreography
Abrons Art Center, New York, NY 2014 selected as Global Outpost collaborator

2014 Voice & Piano: Rehearsal for Fourteen Acts
vocal performance with pianist Jay Israelson
Manderley | McKittrick Hotel, New York, NY

2014 The Last Illusion one-act opera
adaptation, libretto and performance of a novel by Porochista Khakpour
performed Powerhouse Arena, Brooklyn, NY

2013 Music Direction & Production for
Yves Klein’s Monotone Silence Symphony

Dominique Lévy and the Yves Klein Archives
Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, New York, NY

2009 The Editions Artists Book Fair
Benefiting MoMA P.S.1 Annual Exhibitions Fund, music set
X Initiative Space, New York, NY

2008 Antony & the Johnsons
performance for Another World EP Release,
P.S.1 Clocktower Gallery, New York, NY

2005 Lansing Dreiden
L-D Section I, Seattle, WA, Austin, TX, New York, NY