Selfdom will be performed in November at WhiteBox NYC as part of Performa19.

Selfdom is a new work by choreographer Mercedes Searer and artist Roland Gebhardt that invites the audience to experience an intimate exploration of identity.

How we present, or perform, ourselves to others is a learned and familiar act. Selfdom explores the inherited stories we hold within mind and body, and the way in which we manipulate them, consciously and unconsciously, to communicate our various “selves” through movement and gesture. Habitual body patterns are observed and later replicated to create the genetics of movement. Like genes, we inherit many of the ways we encompass space and our bodies. Without other training or consideration, these inherited body patterns become signals for how we and others read our identities.

In this piece, performers use different families of masks to alter, obscure, reveal and highlight identity in a journey through different personal landscapes.