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Mariana Castillo Deball Biography

In her extensive research-based practice, Mariana Castillo Deball creates sculptures, installations and performance works that investigate the significance of objects in shaping our understanding of identity and history. Often collaborating with museums and ethnographic collections, Deball explores how archaeology, museology and ethnography are part of a multiplicity of ways an historical object can be interpreted.

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'Do ut des' (2009–2019) is an early series in which Mariana Castillo Deball drilled perforations into books, forming symmetrical patterns throughout their pages. The volumes belong to O Mundo dos Museus (The World of Museums), a collection of different museums around the world produced by Brazilian designer Eugênio Hirsch in the 1970s. Through the act of piercing, Deball champions an active participation in the representation of history, rather than a passive reception of an established narrative.

Mariana Castillo Deball's engagement with museological and anthropological practices includes her study of pre-Columbian Mexican iconography. Zoomorph P (2013), a small carved sculpture made of briar wood root, replicates the eponymous 20-tonne Mayan wood carving. You have time to show yourself before other eyes (2014), a group of plaster sculptures, are reproductions of artefacts in the Mesoamerican collection at the Ethnographical Museum of Berlin. For these, Deball revisited a papier-mâché technique developed by the 19th-century archeologist Alfred Maudslay, which produces moulds out of paper. The resulting casts, as Stephanie Bailey wrote in Ocula Magazine, record both the original object in addition to the paper mould's textures, 'constituting an ever-expanding cartography'.

Multiplicity and uncertainty are among the dominant features of Mariana Castillo Deball's work, in resistance to linear narrative and categorisation. Replaying Life's Tape, her 2019 solo exhibition at the Monash University of Art (MUMA), Melbourne, featured prints, objects and scientific display systems depicting fossils from the Ediacara Hills in Australia. The Ediacaran biota, the findings of which gave rise to the naming of an ancient geological era, provided the basis for Deball's consideration and contestation of time in relation to site and history.

Representing lesser-known figures from history, Mariana Castillo Deball's current solo exhibition Between making and knowing something at Modern Art Oxford revolves around the stories of female anthropologists and indigenous storytellers. Through a kaleidoscopic installation containing pottery, textiles and photographs, as well as replicas of historical artefacts, Deball interrogates the way cultural institutions such as museums influence our construction of the world by omitting certain subjects.

Mariana Castillo Deball's work has been included in such international art exhibitions as the 54th Venice Biennale (2011); documenta 13, Kassel (2012); 8th Berlin Biennale of Contemporary Art (2014); Sharjah Biennale 13, U.A.E., and documenta 14, Athens (both 2017). Uncomfortable Objects, a monograph and artist's book, was published in 2012.

Mariana Castillo Deball Solo Exhibitions include:

Amarantus, Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen, Germany (2021); Mariana Castillo Deball, England's Creative Coast, Towner Eastbourne (2020); Replaying Life's Tape, ACE Open, Adelaide (2020); Point, kurimanzutto, New York (2019); Finding oneself outside, New Museum, New York (2019); das Haut-Ich, Barbara Wien, Berlin (2018); Mariana Castillo Deball, Witte de With Rotterdam, Netherlands (2019); Them inside the skin, Mendes Wood DM, Brussels (2017); ¿Quién medirá el espacio, quién me dirá el momento?, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Oaxaca (MACO), Mexico (2015); Parergon, exhibition of the National Gallery Prize for Young Art 2013, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2014); What we caught we threw away, what we didn't catch we kept, Chisenhale Gallery London, and CCA Glasgow, Scotland (2013); Zurich Art Prize, Haus Konstruktiv, Zürich (2012); Kaleidoscopic Eye, Kunsthalle Sankt Gallen, Switzerland (2009).

Mariana Castillo Deball Group Exhibitions include:

Devenir inmortal y después morir, La Capella, Barcelona (2020); Is This Tomorrow? Whitechapel Gallery, London (2019); Undefined Territories: Perspectives on Colonial Legacies, Museu d'Art Contemporáni de Barcelona (MACBA) (2019); ; General Rehearsal, Moscow Museum of Modern Art (MMOMA) (2018); A Universal History of Infamy, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2017); Mariana Castillo Deball: Feathered Changes, Serpent Disappearances, San Francisco Art Institute (2016); Panorama, The High Line, New York (2015); Storylines: Contemporary Art at the Guggenheim, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2015).

Sherry Paik | Ocula | 2021

Mariana Castillo Deball Featured Artworks

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Mathematical distortions (No. 13) by Mariana Castillo Deball contemporary artwork
Mariana Castillo DeballMathematical distortions (No. 13), 2012Plaster, pigments, rabbit glue, aluminum
30 x 46 x 20 cm
Barbara Wien Contact Gallery
Mathematical distortions (No. 22) by Mariana Castillo Deball contemporary artwork
Mariana Castillo DeballMathematical distortions (No. 22), 2012Plaster, pigments, rabbit glue, aluminium
16 x 21 x 16 cm
Barbara Wien Contact Gallery
Mathematical distortions (No. 21) by Mariana Castillo Deball contemporary artwork
Mariana Castillo DeballMathematical distortions (No. 21), 2012Plaster, pigments, rabbit glue, aluminium
32 x 29 x 30 cm
Barbara Wien Contact Gallery
Mathematical distortions (No. 19) by Mariana Castillo Deball contemporary artwork
Mariana Castillo DeballMathematical distortions (No. 19), 2012Plaster, pigments, rabbit glue, aluminium
19 x 34 x 11 cm
Barbara Wien Contact Gallery
Mathematical distortions (No. 16) by Mariana Castillo Deball contemporary artwork
Mariana Castillo DeballMathematical distortions (No. 16), 2012Plaster, pigments, rabbit glue, aluminium
17 x 29 x 12 cm
Barbara Wien Contact Gallery
Ixiptla II by Mariana Castillo Deball contemporary artwork
Mariana Castillo DeballIxiptla II, 2017Watercolour on paper
35 x 21 cm
Mendes Wood DM Contact Gallery
What’s the matter with you? by Mariana Castillo Deball contemporary artwork
Mariana Castillo DeballWhat’s the matter with you?, 2017Watercolour on paper
35 x 21 cm
Mendes Wood DM Contact Gallery
Pedernal I by Mariana Castillo Deball contemporary artwork
Mariana Castillo DeballPedernal I, 2017Watercolour on paper
35 x 21 cm
Mendes Wood DM Contact Gallery

Mariana Castillo Deball Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, der grosse Anspruch des kleinen Bildes at Barbara Wien, Berlin
Closed
1 December 2018–26 January 2019 Group Exhibition der grosse Anspruch des kleinen Bildes Barbara WienBerlin
Contemporary art exhibition, Mariana Castillo Deball, das Haut-Ich at Barbara Wien, Berlin
Closed
28 April–25 August 2018 Mariana Castillo Deball das Haut-Ich Barbara WienBerlin
Contemporary art exhibition, Mariana Castillo Deball, Reliefpfeiler at Barbara Wien, Berlin
Closed
17 September–14 November 2015 Mariana Castillo Deball Reliefpfeiler Barbara WienBerlin

Mariana Castillo Deball Represented By

Barbara Wien contemporary art gallery in Berlin, Germany Barbara Wien Berlin
Mendes Wood DM contemporary art gallery in São Paulo, Brazil Mendes Wood DM São Paulo, Brussels, New York

Mariana Castillo Deball In Ocula Magazine

Mariana Castillo Deball's Archaeology of Time Ocula Insight Mariana Castillo Deball's Archaeology of Time By Stephanie Bailey, Siegen

Mariana Castillo Deball's first large-scale presentation in Germany at MGKSiegen tracks the artist's engagement with archaeological time.

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Mariana Castillo Deball In Related Press

Mariana Castillo Deball: Between making and knowing something Related Press Mariana Castillo Deball: Between making and knowing something

A water vessel with a hole cannot fulfill its intended function. In Between making and knowing something at Modern Art Oxford (MAO), Mariana Castillo Deball kills the utilitarian aspect of her Zuni pueblo-inspired red stoneware ceramics in a ceremonial action, perforating them with "kill-holes," intentionally making them...

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