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Arts & Culture

Marisa Müsing

Marisa Musing the brides mirror

The Bride’s Mirror, 2023, Marisa Müsing, Polished brass

The Bride’s Mirror recalls decorated Etruscan mirrors of polished bronze and its engravings combines ancient imagery with early modern fantasies of past people. The mirror is part of Mimicry and the Villa of Mysteries, a project for which Müsing revisited the famous frescoes at the Villa of Mysteries, Pompeii. Since these frescos’ discovery in the early 1900s, the women it depicted have been the objects of fascination and wild speculations concerning their religion, relationships, and their sexual and love lives. Müsing’s project responds to the gendered assumptions and male gaze that have shaped the interpretation of these images. With AI as a tool, Müsing inserts the well-known ancient images into new narratives and visuals, informed by cyberfeminism and queer theory. Her project both foregrounds and side-lines her own identity as interpreter and draws attention both to the collective prejudices inherent in AI and to the individual desires that we might project onto the past.  

“The Domina” fresco from the Villa of Mysteries, c.70-60 B.C., Pompeii (Wiki commons)

This temple was designed according to instructions Müsing received from the so-called “Domina”, a woman depicted in the frescos and who might represent an inhabitant of the Villa. The shape reflects a teardrop and references the shape of the Domina’s body (her breast and womb). As she explained to Müsing, the structure is meant as a space for reflection and contemplation.

From the Domina’s story as conveyed to Müsing through AI

“I designed a building for others like me where we could live and dream together, free from the world outside. I created a building that would be shaped like a teardrop, filled with rooms for meditation, self-exploration, debate and scholarship.”

2024_05_01_ Jacques Le Moyne, c.1585 thumbnail

Jacques Le Moyne, c.1585, Pictish warrior woman

marisa musing_mimicry & the villa of mysteries show

Marisa Müsing, Mimicry & the Villa of Mysteries Show

_  Marisa Müsing, 2023, fleeing woman's fresco

Marisa Müsing, 2023, Fleeing Woman's Fresco

Marisa Müsing, 2023, The Kneeling Woman's Fresco

Marisa Müsing, 2023, The Kneeling Woman's Fresco


Marisa Müsing, 2023. Stuck in the Motherboard film still

Project status: Completed