ArtFile is Mela Dávila Freire


My professional career combines a wide experience in contemporary art institutions –with an intense focus on archives and documentary collections– with my practice as independent researcher, consultant and curator. My curatorial projects deal, for the most part, with the vast territory of artist’s publications.

Since 2012 I am based in Hamburg, and my life and profession evolve between Spain and Germany. In Spain, I was Director of Public Activities at Museo Reina Sofía between 2015 and 2017, and have worked as a consultant for Archivo Lafuente (Santander) and the artist’s book fair Arts Libris (Barcelona). In Germany, I was associate professor of the Dept. of Art History at Hamburg University, and have advised the documenta Archive (Kassel), for which I wrote an extensive executive project.

Before that, I was the first Director of the Study Center of Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), which entails a library, an archive related to contemporary art practices and a collection of artist’s publications. My main task consisted in defining the profile and scope of these holdings and expanding them, as well as devising public activities and gathering resources so as to disseminate the Study Center’s collections and, in general, support research and the production of knowledge. This position offered me the opportunity to set into practice innovative perspectives in the management and dissemination of a vast documentary collection, overcoming the classical division between the categories of “artwork” and “document”.

For specific details of my professional career, please have a look here