Flesh, Format is a musical performance written and performed by artist Sahra Motalebi which examines the inner lives of two estranged sisters – set 100 years from now – based on a year-long period of online communication between Motalebi and her sister living in Iran. The semi-autobiographical libretto orbits themes of spiritual ritual, loss, interiority, and the indeterminate contours of relationality and intimacy in the digital age. Motalebi plays both parts, utilizing experimental musical structure, vocal technique and visual dramaturgy to move between these two characters imagining each other. Recently developed at the Watermill Center, Flesh, Format is part of Sahra Motalebi’s ongoing project Rendering What Remains, an opera including multiple staged performances, video, sculpture installations and a novella.
Sahra Motalebi is a visual artist, composer and vocalist based in New York who has shown her work internationally at MoMA PS1, The Kitchen, New Museum, Sculpture Center and has recorded 5 studio albums.
All photography by Matthew Spiegelmen