Sahra Motalebi: Ibex [diagrams for an empty stage]


‘Ibex [diagrams for an empty stage]’ (2012) is a 15 minute vocal-only operetta comprised of three stanzas, re-ordered and performed in three acts. Reflecting on her experience, a visionary called Ibex sets to work resolving a spiritual contest with her world in the building of each stage-set itself – suggesting that art & identity are linked in their intentionality and process. Sahra Motalebi – both actor and narrator – stands adjacent to the stage and also appears in the video footage.

To see at
First United Methodist Church

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Section within the
Dallas Arts District

Sahra Motalebi is a visual artist, composer, & vocalist born in Birmingham Alabama, 1979. Motalebi’s projects lay at the intersection of contemporary art, architecture, & performance, within which she explores the construction of narrative, its events and artifacts. Her projects have been exhibited & she has performed internationally at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, Museum Ludwig, Abrons Art Center, Vancouver Art Gallery, & Gavin Brown’s Enterprise. In 2008 Motalebi’s multi-channel video installation & vocal performance ‘Such is the Game of Authenticity’ was performed at MoMA PS1. ‘Intangible Heritages, Belief’s Demise’ was presented at SculptureCenter in 2014. She performed ‘Sounds from Untitled Skies’ at The Kitchen in New York on September 15, 2015. Motalebi will attend the The Watermill Center Residency Program in early 2016.


Motalebi has also contributed to many collaborative projects including the theater piece ‘I Will Be Last’ that she co-wrote & performed with artist Kai Althoff in 2008 at Vancouver Art Gallery, & also in two improvisational musical performances for Althoff’s solo show ‘Punkt, Absatz, Blümli (period, paragraph, Bluemli)’ (2011) at Gladstone Gallery. Motalebi also performed with Antony Hegarty (Antony & the Johnsons) in 2008 at the premier of Hegarty’s release of Another World EP at the former Clocktower Gallery. Her collaboration with Mariah Robertson ‘Life is God’s Musical: 4 Movements’, a large scale polychoral installation, was performed at the Kogod Courtyard at the National Portrait Gallery | Smithsonian Institute in 2012 as part of the Art in Embassies | US State Department’s 50th Year Anniversary. Motalebi music directed & produced Yves Klein’s ‘Monotone Silence Symphony’ presented by Dominique Lévy in 2013. She scored ‘Settlement House’, a four-hour, multi-space dance piece by Will Rawls at the Abrons Art Center in 2015.

Motalebi studied classical vocal performance, visual art, & the history of art | architecture at Sarah Lawrence College. She attended the Master of Architecture Program at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture focusing on the relationship between architecture, performance & visual art. She lives in New York.

A biennial public art event of light, video and sound.

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