The MexiCali Biennial is a non-profit contemporary visual arts organization that 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 and most recently in 2018-2019.
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. Past exhibition themes have included viewing the border as a Readymade, Cannibalism in the New World and Calafia: Manifesting the Terrestrial Paradise. Previous board members and co-curators Pilar Tompkins-Rivas, Dr. Amy Pederson-Converse and Daniela Lieja-Qunitanar were fundamental in programming and developing previous installments involving concepts of border interventions, cultural identity, and migration, among other topics. Please visit the archives page for more information on each iteration of the MB.