Color photograph of a light skinned woman with dark hair and bright red lipstick smiling at the camera; she wears a complex, multilayered garment in black, fucsia, and orange

Nao Bustamante

Philip Guston Rome Prize
February 5–July 5, 2024
Professor of Art, Roski School of Art and Design, University of Southern California
Project title
Project description

BLOOM is an investigation of imagination, material, and space around the history of the pelvic examination and the speculum. This work will launch the most significant redesign of the speculum since 1943, based on the biodesign of an opening flower, as well as a docu-VR experience. The speculum dates to 79 AD, with early examples discovered in archeological digs amidst the ruins of Pompeii. I’m particularly interested in researching, while in Rome, the ancient tools used by medical practitioners and what these instruments reveal in the care and status of women’s bodies and other stories from early medicine. I’ll seek out experts in ancient medicine to be interviewed on video and make 3D scans of early medical instruments. I’d also like to take in the AAR Archives, more specifically architectural drawings, to inspire world building in VR. I will be researching, script writing, video recording, and planning VR environments. I’m partnering with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival to create this new BLOOM VR iteration.