The MexiCali Biennial presents Land of Milk & Honey, a traveling multidisciplinary arts and culture program that focuses on concepts of agriculture in the regions of California and Mexico at the Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Arts and Culture of the Riverside Art Museum. Drawing inspiration from John Steinbeck’s portrayal of the region as a corrupted Eden, the exhibitions and programs question ethical, cultural, and regional practices related to foodways and the venture from seed to table. The biblical reference of a “land of milk and honey” first became associated with California as a tool for promoting the state as a land of opportunity; a destination for those in search of a better way of life – a terra firma that would provide sustenance and abundance. This boosterism also served as an ethos that fueled “Manifest Destiny” and resulted in land grabs, ecological destruction, and social injustices.
This exhibition features artists’ views of multi-layered topics associated with agriculture including cultural relationships to food, associations with identity and place, and historical and political concerns.
In conjunction with Land of Milk & Honey, an adjacent gallery presents “MexiCali Biennial: Art, Action, Exchanges,” an exhibition of artworks and ephemera that chronicle the history of the MexiCali Biennial from 2006 to the present.