a dedicated space for curiosity

Palindrome: Self and Society

In Random Curiosities on 02/25/2010 at 07:05

It’s one thing to experience social life, another to describe it, and something different altogether to depict it visually.

I discovered Palindrome on the BluePrintReview blog just a moment. It knocked my socks off. I left a comment. Here’s what I said:

“So glossy and seductive like beautiful masks people wear at parties; masks that beg to be pulled off b/c of the compulsion to see who’s underneath …

… a fascinating visual depiction of sociology, of the ongoing tensions between self and society, and the ways in which identity is negotiated …”

To my words I’d like to add:

It represents the weight of expectation — of family, ethnicity, race, class, gender, socialization, education, religion, occupation, etc.

It also represents human struggle and the capacity for resistance …


The mastermind behind Palindrome is Isabelle Carbonell — a documentary photographer and filmmaker based in Washington, D.C.

Here’s how she describes her work:

“Palindrome is a “videopainting” about what society demands us to do as either immigrants or citizens: to assimilate. It is a palindromic painting about the mirror of identity, the multiple masks we offer in different settings, and our subconscious rebellion that emerges in times of epiphany.”

What does Palindrome represent to you?

What do you see?

  1. I’m not sure, but it’s very beautiful. I think it would make a good poem. Halfway through it reminds me of a car windscreen.

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