Artfile is Mela Dávila Freire

My professional life has two sides. On the one hand, I have held different leading positions in museums. On the other hand, as a freelancer, I research and advice in topics related to the conceptual and physical intersection between contemporary art and archives, as well as to artist’s publications.

As a freelance researcher I have worked for the documenta Archive in Kassel, Museo Reina Sofía (Madrid), Lafuente Archive (Santander), Deutsches Historisches Museum (Berlin), Biblioteca de las Artes (Guayaquil – Ecuador), Arts Libris (Barcelona), Academy of Art and Design FHNW – Institute of Experimental Design and Media Cultures / Critical Media Lab, (Basel), Cervantes Institute of Spanish Culture and other public and private institutions and collections. My role as an external consultant usually involves the development of organizational models in which the management of documentary collections (library and archive) is inseparably linked with the promotion of internal and external research, public visibility and easier public access.

I have also curated various exhibitions, such as Legible – Visible. Between the Film Frame and the Page, shown in the spring of 2017 in Barcelona and in November 2018 in the 14th Cuenca Biennial in Ecuador. My most recent exhibition focuses on artist’s books from the 1980s and it is still on view: No Order, No Cleanliness. Artist’s Publications from the 1980s, Museo de Arte Contempornáneo de Castilla y León – MUSAC, January – Dec 2020.

I am currently collaborating, as external researcher, in an exhibition about the political history of documenta which the Deutsches Historisches Museum in Berlin is preparing for 2021.

In contemporary art institutions, I have performed various tasks. I was initially Head of Publications at the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), where I then moved on to become the first Director of the museum’s Study Center. Later on, I was Director of Public Activities at Museo Reina Sofía (Madrid).

I hold a degree in German and English Philology (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona) and a postgraduate degree in Publishing Practices (Universitat Pompeu Fabra). Since 2012, I live in Hamburg.