All Works Copyright 2016 Jennifer Vanderpool
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The exhibition opened in 2014 at the National Centre for Contemporary Art in Moscow and then in 2017 in Yalta, Santa Barbara’s former Sister City, which includes the neighborhood of Santa Barbara, Crimea, Russia.
Super Natural included 30 4" x 6" postcard prints, 15 36" x 24" poster prints, an 8-channel video installation, and a 3-channel video installation. This exhibition was inspired by Santa Barbara and Russian peoples’ fascination with the alluring city, which began with the soap “Santa Barbara,” the first U.S. television program to air in Russia in the nineties after the collapse of the Soviet Union. It portrayed a fantasy world, which contrasted with the hardship of their post Perestroika daily lives.
Tourist campaigns cultivate an aura of the city as “America’s Riviera” with its glamorous beaches, rugged mountains, and beautiful movie stars. This may be true, but “Homeless Czar” Philip Mangano, former director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homeless under the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations, identified a disproportionate number of homeless people living on the streets and in temporary shelters in Santa Barbara. The issue of homelessness in Santa Barbara coupled with a rash of gang violence, including mid-day initiation killings on the sidewalks in front of the fashionable stores along State Street, tarnished the glitz of the city's illustrious reputation.