1.19.13 MexiCali Biennial 2013 @ Vincent Price Art Museum

Vincent Price Art Museum presents
[JANUARY 19, 2013 – APRIL 13, 2013]

1301 Avenida Cesar Chavez. Monterey Park, CA 91754

MexiCali Biennial 2013

The cannibal is a scholarly creature, a thought experiment that interrogates identity on the verge of collapse, posits an ethics without morals, and instills anarchy into the social order. In the West, “the cannibal is the messenger of disorder, the proof that moral chaos has descended upon us, human nature at its worst, the unusable atom of an impossible social order.” Cannibalism in the New World, whether real or imagined, was one of the central moral rationales for colonialism, and it is no accident that the etymological and sociological origins of the cannibal coincide with the discovery of the Americas.

Historically, utopic tendencies in Western modernism have had a forward thrust, projecting into an imaginary space of the future and driven by the forces of technology. By contrast, the Latin American avant garde project of the last century frequently looked to the past, with the seeds of utopia located not in the technological future, but in the purity of the pre-Colombian past. However, these locations are equally phantasmic. The dependence on either trajectory for a post-colonial artistic practice fails because of this historical myopia, a short-sightedness that can only superficially resolve the conflicts inherent within the production of international contemporary art in any location other than the West. This MexiCali Biennial proposes cannibalism as a strategy for the production of a Latin and North American avant garde in the present. Through ingestion, digestion, and subsumation, the cannibal bridges the gap between political science and moral philosophy, nature and civilization, north and south, east and west, the self and the other.

The MexiCali Biennial is a dynamic platform for creating new channels of communication between diverse publics within the US and Mexico. It is a vehicle to develop and implement creative research practices and resources for facilitating long-term collaborations that traverse physical, disciplinary and geopolitical borders. MexiCali is a merger of the words Mexico and California. It is a reference to the geographical location, as well as a social and political space that is less of a territory than a deterritorialization. The border here is not a clear demarcation between two zones, but rather a liminal and porous space that colors a region defined by its hybridism – part Mexico, part California and neither entirely.

1. Catalin Avramescu, An Intellectual History of Cannibalism (Princeton, NY: Princeton UP) 2009.
2. Justin E.H. Smith and Catalin Avramescu, “The Raw and the Cooked: Interview with Catalin Avramescu,” Cabinet 39 (Fall 2010).

Participating Artists:
Fred Alvarado, Natalia Anciso, Marycarmen Arroyo Macias, Ana Baranda, Juan Bastardo, Sergio Bromberg, Helen Cahng, Matthew Carter, Carolyn Castaño, Enrique Castrejon, Michael Dee, Tony de los Reyes, Map Conception: Deborah Diehl & Arzu Arda Kosar, Dino Dinco and Rafa Esparza, Veronica Duarte, Martin Durazo, Roni Feldman, Kio Griffith & Carmina Escobar, Zoè Gruni, Ichiro Irie, Daniel Lara, Candice Lin, Juan Luna-Avin, Matt MacFarland, Dominic Paul Miller, Flavia Monteiro, Nancy Popp, Peter Bo Rappmund, Christopher Reynolds, Cindy Santos Bravo, Fidelius X

Curated by:
Ed Gomez, Luis G. Hernandez and Amy Pederson

Opening Reception
Saturday, January 19, 6 to 9 p.m., Large Gallery
Join MexiCali Biennial 2013 artists and curators for the grand opening of the exhibition.
Live performance by HELL-(O), and by Kio Griffith with Carmina Escobar.

Walkthrough with MexiCali Biennial 2013 Curators
Saturday, February 9, 2 p.m., Large Gallery
MexiCali Biennial 2013 curators Ed Gomez, Luis G.Hernandez, Amy Pederson, and several artists, will lead a tour of the exhibition.

Evening of Performances
Saturday April 13, 2 p.m., Vincent Price Art Museum
Performances by art metal bands HELL-(O) and Los Nuevos Maevans, and Daniel Lara

Reception beverages provided by Jarritos Company.


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