The MexiCali Biennial is a non-profit contemporary visual arts organization which focuses on the area encompassing California and Mexico as a region of aesthetic production. The organization is migratory in nature and showcases exhibitions on both sides of the California/Mexico border. The MexiCali Biennial was originally started as a project critiquing the proliferation of international and regional art biennials and as a result may be shown at any time and at any location. The inaugural exhibition was in 2006 and subsequent programming occurred in the years spanning 2009 through 2010 and again in 2013. Future programming is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2018 and continuing throughout 2019.
MexiCali Biennial 2018/2019 will revolve around the mythology of California, in particular the etymology and iconography surrounding the states of California, both north and south of the border. Focusing on the legend of Calafia, the mythological queen of the island of California, this programming will be broader than previous installments as far as scope of artists as well as the conceptual rigor. Curators for the 2018/2019 MB are Ed Gomez, Luis G. Hernandez and Daniela Lieja Quintanar.
The MexiCali Biennial was conceived in 2006 by artists Ed Gomez and Luis G. Hernandez. The inaugural round of programming first took place at La Casa de la Tia Tina, an artist-run space on the border town of Mexicali, MX before traveling to Chavez Studios in East Los Angeles. Due to the nature of the biennial’s programming, the second biennial didn’t occur until 2009 through 2010, during which time it took place in four different locations in both Mexico and California. Previous board members and co-curators Pilar Tompkins-Rivas and Dr. Amy Pederson-Converse were fundamental in programming and developing previous installments involving concepts of border interventions, cultural identity and migration, among other topics. Pederson-Converse conceived of the theme “Cannibalism” for the 2013 critically acclaimed round of exhibitions. Please visit the archives page for more information on each iteration of the MB.