COMME CI COMME ÇA

2017

Comme ci Comme ça, a French expression which roughly translates to "so-so" or "like this, like that", is a multimedia project where Americans temporarily living in Paris reflect on their experiences as they relate to a certain projected self-image. The series explores the theatricality of everyday life in a new country-- a performance in its own right--which forces one to be more conscious of how they present themselves, in an effort to assimilate and take-on a new or semi-new image. These young Americans elaborate on living in a society that is very conscious of its own image both intellectually and visually, a culture which warrants some degree of adaptation for survival, thus leading to various degrees of fabricating one's own image. They shed light on the discomforts rendered by the distortion of familiar cultural norms, the insecurities and difficulties that arrive with living and breathing in another language and how that influences behaviour and thought. Do we think, and by extension, behave, differently when we speak another language? Does the unfamiliarity of environment and individuals lead one to search for the familiar and the known or plunge deep into the casually ideal, image-wary but seemingly-otherwise Parisian wonderland? Do Americans truly become French when spending a year abroad, or does the experience reinforce their American identities? Or rather still, do they find themselves enamored by a new culture but resist losing what makes them comfortable, shifting to a state somewhere between French and American, like this or like that?

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