Sahra Motalebi used her time as artist in residence at Chinati to work on an open-form project called Resonators, a suite of speculative “instruments” that required real-time imaginal engagement for activation. Conceived in the course of a global pandemic, this open-form project plays with ideas about corporeal participation and subjectivity through an archeology of “tools” that refigure technicity for human connection. Part of a broader corpus of work about experience and material as they affect creative utterance and performance in the Digital Age, this project uses formal syntaxes of computational, geological, and psychoacoustic organization. The Resonators are sound-sculptures as prototypes, images, and diagrams for limitless voices. To view a recording of Montalebi’s Resonators (psychoacoustic drawing, Arena), 2020, click here.
Motalebi’s ongoing performance-exhibition Directory of Portrayals was included in the 2019 Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and she is the Visual Arts Fellow at Radcliffe Institute in 2020-2021. Other projects have been performed/exhibited at the Kitchen, SculptureCenter, MoMA PS1, the New Museum, Swiss Institute (all New York City), and other museums and venues. Motalebi was born in Birmingham, Alabama, and she graduated from Sarah Lawrence College. She attended the Master of Architecture program at Columbia University, withdrawing after the first year to focus her studio practice on the intersections of art, architecture, and performance. She currently lives in upstate New York.