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Through a collage-like installation featuring pottery, photography and textiles, Mexican-born artist Mariana Castillo Deball works to uncover stories and individuals often hidden in traditional museum displays.

Click on our virtual exhibition below for special features including an artist-led tour, a behind-the-scenes visit to Deball’s ceramics studio and the stories behind the little-known female anthropologists researched by the artist.

Find out more about the exhibition

Mariana Castillo Deball’s exhibition focuses on sharing the stories of a number of little-known female anthropologists and indigenous storytellers and makers. To do this, the artist recreates historical artefacts and reconfigures display cases to expose how museum collections both conceal and reveal historical narratives and shape our understanding of the world.

Between making and knowing something is born out of Deball’s ongoing research into museums, the observational science of people and cultures (or ethnography), archaeology and photographic archives. The exhibition particularly explores objects and archives held in the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford and the Smithsonian Museum National Collections in Washington D.C.

About Mariana Castillo Deball

Mariana Castillo Deball’s 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 most important solo exhibitions include: Replaying Life's Tape, Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne, Australia (2019); Feathered Changes, Serpent Disappearances, Walter and McBean Galleries, San Francisco Art Institute, United States (2016); Mariana Castillo Deball, Parergon, Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin (2014); What we caught we threw away, what we didn’t catch we kept, CCA: Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow, Scotland and Chisenhale Gallery, London (2013); Este desorden construido, autoriza geológicas sorpresas a la memoria más abandonada, Museo Experimental El Eco, Mexico City (2011); among others.


Watch: Online exhibition tour with Mariana Castillo Deball

Behind-the-scenes: Mariana Castillo Deball’s studio

The making of Between making and knowing something

Unsettling Narratives: alternative exhibition tour with Uncomfortable Oxford