Mariana Castillo Deball: Luce dietro tracce incompiute

Mariana Castillo Deball: Luce dietro tracce incompiute

Municipality of Milan

Mariana Castillo Deball, Luce dietro tracce incompiute (i.e. Light behind unfinished traces), 2023. Textiles, various sizes. Installation view, MUDEC—Museo delle Culture, Milan, 2023. Photo: Sara Rizzo.

December 22, 2023
Mariana Castillo Deball
Luce dietro tracce incompiute
October 19, 2023–April 7, 2024
Mudec—Museo delle Culture di Milano
Via Tortona, 56
20144 Milan
Instagram / Facebook

Luce dietro tracce incompiute is the textile installation by Mexican artist Mariana Castillo Deball, whose monumental dimensions welcome visitors to the heart of the museum, the Agora. 

Working with the MUDEC and Fondazione Ratti collections, Mariana Castillo Deball selected twelve textile fragments from different geographical areas and periods on which she made her own watercolours. These images were then printed in large format on fabric and assembled with additional textile elements in the workshops of the NABA—New Academy of Fine Arts—with a group of students under the direction of Salvatore Averzano. Three-dimensional “palimpsests” were created, shimmering with different meanings and stories.

For the first time, the intervention on the glass surface changes the status of the architecture itself, transforming it into a reflective volume on which the sculptures made of light, semi-transparent textiles appear. Natural light filters through this composition of textile fragments, creating a new cartography.

Mexican artist Mariana Castillo Deball (b. 1975)—who represented Mexico at the Venice Biennale in 2022 and participated in dOCUMENTA (13), 2012 in Kassel—has conceived a textile project for the Agora based on detailed preliminary research. Castillo Deball (b. 1975) takes a kaleidoscopic approach to her practice, mediating between science, archaeology and the visual arts, exploring the ways 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 that objects play in our identity and history. Her work is the result of a long research process that allows her to explore the different ways in which a historical object can be read, presenting a version of reality that informs and merges into a polyphonic panorama.

After Norma Jeane and Cory Arcangel, Mariana Castillo Deball’s project is MUDEC’s third production by a contemporary artist in dialogue with the museum’s spaces. Interacting with the fabrics of the collections, Castillo Deball’s work creates a play of references between content and container, between the museum’s collections and David Chipperfield’s architecture.

Natural and artificial light will filter through the textures of the textile installation, animating these delicate and intangible presences suspended in space and time: “unfinished traces”. As part of the museum’s vision to address contemporary issues and practices, MUDEC—Museum of Cultures presents its second site-specific project for autumn 2023, after Cory Arcangel’s, and is a teaser for the upcoming exhibition Exposure, scheduled for March 2024.

The exhibition Exposure reflects on the concept of the display case and the ways in which it influences the museum itself and the public’s experience of it.  Opening in the Permanent Collection with a special intervention (a newly commissioned work by MUDEC) by video artist and director Theo Eshetu, the exhibition is divided into several fragments: some devoted to the history of the vitrine in Western museology, others offering a special focus on the vitrine and ways of “transcending” it by contemporary artists such as Mark Dion, Sam Durant and Monia Ben Hamouda, who is preparing a site-specific installation.

The exhibition rooms are preceded by Luce dietro tracce incompiute in agorà. In an attempt to reconfigure the perception of the museum space and the status of the viewer, who is in a sense placed inside the mega-vitrine, we begin with the monumental installation Luce dietro tracce incompiute. In fact, the museum’s agora can be seen as a huge showcase placed in the heart of MUDEC.

Luce dietro tracce incompiute is curated by Katya Inozemtseva and Sara Rizzo with the support of 24 Ore Cultura and the Deloitte Foundation.

RSVP for Mariana Castillo Deball: Luce dietro tracce incompiute
Municipality of Milan
December 22, 2023

Thank you for your RSVP.

Municipality of Milan will be in touch.


e-flux announcements are emailed press releases for art exhibitions from all over the world.

Agenda delivers news from galleries, art spaces, and publications, while Criticism publishes reviews of exhibitions and books.

Architecture announcements cover current architecture and design projects, symposia, exhibitions, and publications from all over the world.

Film announcements are newsletters about screenings, film festivals, and exhibitions of moving image.

Education announces academic employment opportunities, calls for applications, symposia, publications, exhibitions, and educational programs.

Sign up to receive information about events organized by e-flux at e-flux Screening Room, Bar Laika, or elsewhere.

I have read e-flux’s privacy policy and agree that e-flux may send me announcements to the email address entered above and that my data will be processed for this purpose in accordance with e-flux’s privacy policy*

Thank you for your interest in e-flux. Check your inbox to confirm your subscription.