Barbara Wien

Mariana Castillo Deball

29 Aug - 04 Oct 2008

Mariana Castillo Deball
Mariana Castillo Deball
Nobody was Tomorrow

„Penser / Classer“ /2003) is the title of the first book by Mariana Castillo Deball (* 1975 in Mexico City) and it was already like a motto for her further projects : thinking / classifying. Books, libraries, universities, observatories, places of archeological discoveries, ethnographical research and objects give her the possibility to work about different forms of knowledege. Although everybody seems to know how relative and dependent on historic circumstances is – Deball finds ways to get more aware about it.

In our exhibtion we show:

Falschgesichter (2008)
The departure point of this paper work serie is the book Exotic Masks, published in Germany in 1953. Deball replaces the structure of the each mask through foldings. The original images of the masks vanished. It remains an abstract image on glossy folded paper in the size of the book and the ethnographic description of the mask.
Ethnographic objects often serve as the ideal blank screen upon which all sorts of fantasies may be projected – nationalistic, imperialistic, romantic or rational ones. In all of these instances, the end results tell us little about the objects or their builders, and much about the needs, concerns and ideals of those engaged in these projections.
In the case of the Falschgesichter paper works, the attention is directed toward this very practice of projection and its workings.

Nobody was Tomorrow (2007)
Taking the style of a childrens tale, the video consists of three characters telling their own stories: an accelerating aging machine in Belgrade’s National Library; the huge ficus tree inside a House of Culture in Cacak, Serbia; and the archaeological remains of the Roman baths, also in Cacak, Serbia.
In 2007 Deball made a visit to the National Library in Belgrade in order to meet Nobody, an accelerating aging machine. The artifact was used in the restoration department of the library in order to test the resistance and durability of books, giving an idea of how an object might look in 20, 50 or 200 years in the blink of an eye. To the surprise of Deball the machine was actually in the laboratory but it stopped working 30 years ago. The political and economical situation collapsed the laboratory, now a collection of useless artifacts.
The film starts taking the machine as the main character of the story, who gives its own testimony of the passage of time and our relationship with technology. In the film, even if the people working at the laboratory believe that the machine is not working anymore, it still performs a series of secret experiments.
Another character in the story is a tree, a huge ficus tree that grew inside of a modernistic cultural center in Cakac, in Serbia. The tree started to cross ceilings and walls, a parasite transforming the functional architecture of the building.
All the characters in the story are real, but the connections between them are fictional.

Nobody (2008)
Related to the film Nobody was tomorrow Deball developed a serie of drawings made with watercolors and photographic elements. Abstract watercolor forms are connected with the film stills.

Tags: Mariana Castillo Deball