The contemporary artist Diana Markosian moved to the U.S. from Moscow, years after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the grim Soviet era. Her family settled in Santa Barbara, but soon came to realize the idealized California life was worlds away from their impoverished reality. In a collaboration with one of the scriptwriters from the 1980s American soap opera Santa Barbara, Markosian uses staged photographs and video to recreate those first unsettling moments on American soil. She tells the story through the perspective of her mother, sending a powerful message about sacrifice, family, and the seductive, elusive American Dream. —E.C.
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