Mariana Castillo Deball, 'Ediacara panorama' (2019)

One of the most influential artists of her generation, Mexico-born, Berlin-based Mariana Castillo Deball’s first Australian exhibition, Replaying Life’s Tape, will open at Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA), 5th of October to the 7th of December 2019.

In this major exhibition, Castillo Deball asks us to examine the relationship between site, time and history and how these impact on the world we see. Working across disciplines and collaborating with experts in different fields, Castillo Deball creates art that looks at the nexus of history and identity, drawing on museology, anthropology, archaeology and the philosophy of science.

Her art responds to a seemingly total state of globalisation, in which Western traditions attempt to assimilate all others. The philosophical questions she contemplates are deeply rooted not only in the manifestation of her own indigenous Mexican identity, but also in the increasing importance of cultural specificity around the globe.

Castillo Deball uses installation, photography, sculpture and drawing to explore the role that objects play in understanding identity and history. Her work reconfigures historical and cultural material in ways that show the world to us anew.

Engaging in prolonged periods of research and field work, she takes on the role of the explorer compiling found materials in a way that reveals new connections and meanings.

At the invitation of MUMA, this long-term project, first discussed in 2016, has seen Castillo Deball focus on the Ediacara Hills region of South Australia, significant for its rich and remarkably intact fossil record of ancient organisms that helped to change the way we understand early life on the planet.

In 2018, Castillo Deball undertook a site visit to the Ediacara Hills. Using ink rubbings and frottage, she documented the sandstone-based impressions, capturing images often more readable than the fossils themselves.

For exhibition, Castillo Deball will present a material and virtual recreation of the site, combining archaeological objects, sculptural display systems and viewing technologies to consider the relationships between site, time and history.

Replaying Life’s Tape, has been curated by MUMA’s Senior Curator, Hannah Mathews and is presented as part of the 2019 Melbourne International Arts Festival.

See art that makes you ask the big questions in life, Replaying Life’s Tape now on at the Monash University Museum of Art!


Dates: Sat 5 October – Sat 7 December 2019

Location: Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA), Ground Floor, Building F, Monash University, Caulfield Campus, 900 Dandenong Road, Caulfield East.

Times: Tuesday - Friday; 10am – 5pm, Saturday; 12 - 5pm

Admission cost: Free

MUMA Website