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), Arts Libris (Barcelona), the 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 public programs and exhibitions, the most recent one of which was 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. I am currently designing my next exhibition, which will focus on artist’s books from the 1980s (No Order, No Cleanliness. Artist’s Publications from the 1980s, Museo de Arte Contempornáneo de Castilla y León – MUSAC, January – May 2020).

I am also currently collaborating, as external curatorial advisor, with the Deutsches Historisches Museum in Berlin. And I am also Project Advisor at the Academy of Art and Design FHNW – Institute of Experimental Design and Media Cultures / Critical Media Lab, Basel, for 2019-2020.

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 Diploma 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.