Mariana Castillo Deball
Mariana Castillo Deball b. 1975, Mexico City
Metal rack, plaster plates, and 28 inkjet prints mounted on cardboard
59 1/16 x 59 1/16 x 31 1/2 inches (150 x 150 x 80 cm) overall
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York Guggenheim UBS MAP Purchase Fund, 2014
Mariana Castillo Deball. Installation view: What we caught we threw away, what we didn’t catch we kept, Chisenhale Gallery, London, May 24–July 14, 2013. Photo: Andy Keate
In this work, plaster casts inspired by monolithic Mayan stone sculptures called stelae are displayed on storage racks, and point to the artist’s interest in what she refers to as “uncomfortable objects.” Mariana Castillo Deball’s casts were inspired by papier-mâché molds made by nineteenth-century archaeologist Alfred Maudslay at the Mayan site of Palenque in southern Mexico. Many of the historic original sculptures were looted or have vanished, making Maudslay’s copies (which are now in the collection of the British Museum in London) the only evidence of their existence. Castillo Deball’s casts are thus twice removed from the original artifacts, raising questions about the value of the copy and the transmission of historical truth.