Local Artist's Wall: Maria Molteni

Cool-Girl Witch Maria Molteni is a local artist and visionary beloved around Salem for her Net Works project with NCAA. Her new “Which House/ HausWitch” installation here at The Treasure Palace pulls from two sets of Stereographic images (a 19th-century form of 3D-photography) depicting the first buildings erected in historic visionary community movements- American Spiritualism and German Bauhaus.

Bauhaus was a German art school in operation from 1919 to 1933 that was known to promote the unity of architecture, craft, design, and fine art and was eventually shut down by Nazis. The other titular building, The Bough House, was a structure of tree branches and flowers in the Spiritualist town of Lily Dale, New York

where they held their first clairvoyant message service in 1880. Here, the stereograph draws parallels between their histories which are often viewed through separate lenses. Using the Stereograph as a metaphor as well as a participatory tool within the installation, images from each movement are brought together to reveal a multidimensional view of the spirit world and its marginalized channelers.

Both The Bough House and Bauhaus have greatly influenced Maria's work and magic, and new research supports her emphasis on perspective and the significance that early Bauhaus members gave to the occult and early Spiritualist artifacts like spirit photography. Her research also recognizes the overlooked synchronicities between the two (beyond shared naming), from their A-framed astrological chart patterns to their communities' overlapping interests in the political and social reforms of their day.

Our HausWitch window piece sprung from a sister installation at the Fitchburg Art Museum in an exhibition called “After Spiritualism” in which the wallpaper reflected weaving patterns by Molteni’s favorite Bauhaus women artists. In the true spirit of Haus love and shelter-in-place measures, she has rearranged them to depict a cozy community of houses in Salem.

Find more info about Maria's research, visit the project page on Maria’s website and Instagram feed @Strega_Maria. The Bough House and Bauhaus posters were printed with Snake Hair Press and are for sale on the HausWitch website here.