Ibex [diagrams for an empty stage]

Sahra Motalebi

April 12, 2012


1_1 1_2 1_3

2_2 2_3 2_1
____2_2 2_3 2_1

3_3 3_1 3_2
________3_3 3_1 3_2

Ibex [diagrams for an empty stage] is a performance roughly formatted as an anti-opera. Its mechanisms of staging and the methods of its storytelling involve a song-cycle in three parts that takes as one of its subjects the interior experiences and reflections of a character called Ibex, an ambivalent spiritual visionary. Though the libretto is sung in the first-person, the physical form of this character is dis-articulated, rarely appearing on-stage or within the frame with any readiness for consumption by an audience. The stage-sets in this performance are comprised of artifacts made from various media with multiple durations and scales; some are documentation of the construction of a performance itself - one that may have occurred at an earlier point in time but is now perpetually re-staged as a present situation. The vocal music is less a method of narrative accompaniment in the manner of representational theater, than a series of imbedded lyrical gestures that, like the stage-sets, are recorded, iterated, and accumulated through the arc of the performance. How one conceives of the stage and one's proximity to it both determine one’s participation as an audience member - the nature of the show's layout inevitably slices and punctuates one’s intentions and experience, what and how one sees and hears. This work seeks out the critical potential made possible by performance, that which may reveal the burdensome rigidity, perhaps the absurdity, of our notions of identity as well as our biases and preferences as they concern artistic expression.