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Santa Barbara (trailer)
B. 1989, Moscow, Russia
Lives in London, United Kingdom
Diana Markosian (born in Moscow, 1989) is a Russian-American photographer of Armenian descent. Her work explores memory and place through a layered, interdisciplinary process that uses video, photography, drawings and historical ephemera. Her photographs have been published in National Geographic, the New Yorker, and the New York Times. Her awards include a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship (2019), World Press Photo Award (2019), Magnum Foundation Fund Grant (2019), Elliott Erwitt Foundation (2018), Chris Hondros Fund Award (2015), Firecracker Grant (2014), and Burn Magazine Emerging Photographer Fund (2013). She holds a Master of Science from Columbia University in New York. Her first monograph, ‘Santa Barbara’ will be published by Aperture in 2020 and is accompanied by a show premiering at Les Recontres d’Arles in (2020) before moving to San Francisco MOMA (2020) and International Center of Photography, NYC (2021).
Essay by Lynda Myles
Diana Markosian’s Santa Barbara recreates the story of her family’s journey from post-Soviet Russia to the U.S. in the 1990s.
The project pulls together staged scenes, film stills, and family pictures in an innovative and compelling hybrid of personal and documentary storytelling. In it, the artist grapples with the reality that her mother, seeking a better life for herself and her two young children, came to America as a mail-order bride. Markosian’s mother chose her future husband because he lived in Santa Barbara, a city made famous in Russia when the 1980s soap opera of that name became the first American television show broadcast there.Weaving together reenactments by actors, archival images, stills from the original Santa Barbara TV show, Markosian reconsiders her family’s story from her mother’s perspective, relating to her for the first time as a woman, and coming to terms with the profound sacrifices she made to become an American.
Diana Markosian (born in Moscow, 1989) is a Russian American photographer of Armenian descent. Her photographs have been published in National Geographic, the New Yorker, and the New York Times. She holds a Master of Science from Columbia University. Her work is represented by Galerie Les Filles du Calvaire in Paris.
Lynda Myles is an Emmy Award–winning scriptwriter. She has worked on Santa Barbara, General Hospital, and One Life to Live, among other TV shows.