Why are some objects kept in ethnographic and anthropological collections not considered art? And what happens if we rethink how many of these objects have influenced actual art history? And what happens also if we look the other way around, if we read contemporary art as future archeology? What will survive, and how will this information survive?  – Mariana Castillo Deball

Mariana Castillo Deball takes a kaleidoscopic approach to her practice, mediating between science, archaeology, and the visual arts and exploring the way in which these disciplines describe the world. Her installations, performances, sculptures, and editorial projects arise from the recombination of different languages that seek to understand the role objects play in our identity and history. Her works result from a long research process, allowing her to study the different ways in which a historical object can be read as it presents a version of reality that informs and blends into a polyphonic panorama. Seeking to initiate a dialogue with institutions and museums beyond contemporary art, she collaborates with ethnographic collections, libraries, and historical archives. She often produces multiples —books or objects with different uses and formats— to explore how they might generate new territories. Weaving her way through the fields of anthropology, philosophy, and literature, Castillo Deball draws inspiration from a wide range of sources as she engages in the exchange of knowledge as a transforming process for everyone involved.


Mariana Castillo Deball (b. 1975, Mexico City, Mexico) lives and works in Berlin.

She has had institutional solo exhibitions at Bloomberg Space, London (2022); Vlesshal, Middelburg (2022); Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen (2021); MUAC-UNAM, Mexico City (2021); Artium Museum, Vitoria-Gasteiz (2021); Modern Art Oxford (2020); ACE Open, Adelaide (2020); Monash University Museum of Art, Caulfield (2019); Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam (2019); New Museum, New York (2019); SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah (2018); Museo Amparo, Puebla (2018); San Francisco Art Institute (2016); Musée Régional D‘Art Contemporain Languedoc-Roussillon, Sérignan (2015); Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Oaxaca (MACO) (2015); Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2014); Kunsthalle Lissabon (2014); Chisenhale Gallery, London (2013); Museum Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich (2012); Museo Experimental el Eco, Mexico City (2011); Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach (2010); Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen (2009); Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, Mexico City (2006); Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (2004); Marres House for Contemporary Culture, Maastricht (2004); Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros, Mexico City (2002), among others.

Her work has been featured in recent group shows at institutions such as Architectural Association in London (2023); MUMOK, Vienna (2022); Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (2022); Musée du Quai Branly - Jacques Chirac, Paris (2020); Kunsthaus Dresden (2020); Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Barcelona (MACBA) (2019); Whitechapel Gallery, London (2019); Zentrum für Kunst und Medien (ZKM), Karlsruhe (2019); Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2019 & 2018); Museo Jumex, Mexico City (2018, 2016 & 2015); Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden (2018); KADIST Foundation, Paris (2017); The High Line, New York (2015); Guggenheim Museum, New York (2015 & 2014); Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (2014).

Selected Artworks

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