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Opening Reception: MexiCali Biennial Calafia: Manifesting the Terrestrial Paradise

Armory Center for the Arts

145 North Raymond Avenue Pasadena, CA 91103

Oct 6, 2019 - Jan 12, 2020

Exhibition Opening:Oct 5, 2019, 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

The early 16th century novel Las Sergas de Esplandian, by Garci Rodriguez de Montalvo, described a mythical California as a rugged island paradise, populated entirely by women, and ruled by the great Black queen Calafia with the help of her army of warriors and their man-eating griffins. This legendary version of California serves as a point of departure to examine the region and its peoples as a collective territory, criss-crossed and scarred by political, psychological, and geological borders. Featuring projects from contemporary artists on both sides of the border, the exhibition weaves urgent questions about feminism, indigenous rights, gentrification and displacement, misogyny, post-colonialism, and resistance movements into and through the current and historical political climate of the region. Calafia: Manifesting the Terrestrial Paradise is organized by curatorial team of the MexiCali Biennial: Ed Gomez, Luis G. Hernandez, and Daniela Lieja Quintanar. The MexiCali Biennial is a non-profit, contemporary visual arts organization that focuses on the area encompassing the California and Mexico border as a region of aesthetic production. Originally started as a project critiquing the proliferation of international and regional art biennials, it operates nomadically and may appear at any time and at any location. Its exhibitions appear on both sides of the California/Mexico border through partnerships with arts institutions to showcase both emerging and established artists working in all media. This fall, the MexiCali Biennial brings Calafia: Manifesting the Terrestrial Paradise to the Armory. Exhibiting Artists: #SNATCHPOWER, Juan Bastardo, Chelle Barbour, Mely Barragán, Miguel Buenrostro, Enid Baxter Ryce, Chris Christion, Cog•nate Collective, Nikki Darling and Dean Erdmann, Yutsil Cruz, David de Rozas, Melora Garcia, Invasorix, Maya Mackrandilal, Noé Olivas, Abigail Raphael Collins, Adee Roberson, Mónica Rodríguez, Sandy Rodriguez, Timo Saarelma, Paulina Sánchez, Julio M. Romero, Amanda Trager & Erik Moskowitz, Hillary Mushkin, Chinwe Okona, Jeniffer Pereda, Jessica Sevilla, Diane Williams, and Kim Zumpfe.

Image: Chris Christion, The Unauthorized Histography of California Vol. 1, 2018, Digital video; 10 minutes, 45 seconds. Image courtesy of the artist and The MexiCali Biennial.

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