Shana Moulton, The Pink Tower, 2019. (Shana Moulton)

A solo-exhibit — “The Invisible Seventh is the Mystic Column” — featuring Santa Barbara-based artist Shana Moulton, will be on view starting Thursday, April 15 at the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara (MCASB), 653 Paseo Nuevo.

Moulton works with video, installation and performance to explore the anxiety, isolation, and mystical journeys of her alter-ego, Cynthia, as she traverses an evolving, yet cyclical loop of self-diagnosis and treatment.

Moulton’s video series “Whispering Pines,” originating in 2002 and named after the senior mobile home park run by her parents near Yosemite, follows Cynthia on surreal and uncanny adventures as she attempts to reconcile societal anxieties, while grappling with existential discomfort.

Appropriating New Age therapies, personal wellness products, physical movement, and spiritual healing, Cynthia attempts transcendence, navigating the complex territory of self-excavation and self-care in her search for meaning.

Essentially a caricature wavering between gravity and humor, between critique and emphatic acquiescence, Cynthia embodies Moulton’s quest for liberation from earthly suffering, which, in Cynthia’s case, is inextricably tied to her physical body and psychological isolation.

The discomfort and uneasiness that haunt her do not belong exclusively within the universe of Whispering Pines. More than a year into the pandemic, deep-seated feelings of isolation, alienation, anxiety and loneliness are pervasive.

Audience members are more clearly attuned to the eccentric coping mechanisms of Moulton’s persona, as they are now uniquely familiar.

Major works exhibited at MCASB include videos “The Pink Tower, 2019,” Whispering Pines 10, 2018,” and the titular work of the exhibition, “The Invisible Seventh is the Mystic Column, 2021.” “The Pink Tower” bears references to the local community, having been filmed in and around the UCSB campus, where Moulton is an assistant professor.

“Whispering Pines 10” has been described as an eco-feminist Gesamtkunstwerk by composer Nick Hallet, Moulton’s collaborator on this particular episode. “The Invisible Seventh is the Mystic Column,” shot and edited by Moulton while in quarantine, will evolve throughout the course of the exhibit and visitors are invited to return to see how the piece develops.

“The Invisible Seventh is the Mystic Column” is curated by Alexandra Terry, chief curator, MCASB.

Moulton, who was born in Oakhurst, California, in 1976, lives and works in Santa Barbara. She has shown her work in the U.S. and internationally, including solo shows at the Palais De Tokyo in Paris, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, Art in General in New York, the Zabludowicz Collection in London,

She has performed at The Museum of Modern Art, New Museum of Contemporary Art, The Kitchen in New York, Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. She earned her BA from UC Berkeley in art and anthropology and her MFA from Carnegie Mellon University.