Shana Moulton’s works of video and performance art are humorous examinations of the interplay between consumerism, commercialized New Age philosophies and fragmented reminiscences of other artistic styles, such as Land Art, and individual artists, including Mondrian and Georgia O’Keeffe. Her videos, into which she cuts psychedelic sequences, and which call to mind the video aesthetics of the late 1970s and 1980s, were conceived as a series entitled ‘Whispering Pines’ (2002–). The fictional character Cynthia – an alter ego played by the artist – is a bored, hypochondriac housewife who, as an antithesis to the fun-loving and ravenously adventurous female characterization found in the work of Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist, is on an ongoing quest for redemption.
By placing her protagonist in a domestic setting, and in her choice of the televisual format, Moulton draws on narrative concepts developed in soap operas and so transfers a popular genre into the context of art. The moments that illustrate the world of Cynthia’s imagination, which frequently slides into a psychedelic register, are often also marked by a ‘migration of form(s)’ – characters and motifs drawn from the canon of an already recognized history of art and from alternative subcultures.