Land of Milk & Honey / La tierra que mana leche y miel at the Cheech Center for Chicano Arts and Culture of the Riverside Art Museum
February 25 – May 28, 2023
The MexiCali Biennial presents Land of Milk & Honey at the Cheech Center for Chicano Arts and Culture of the Riverside Art Museum, a traveling multidisciplinary arts and culture program that focuses on concepts of agriculture in the regions of California and Mexico. 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, being the second in the series, 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, the Institute of Culture and Esthetics/Instituto de Cultura y Estéticas (I.C.E.) is presenting archival objects and ephemera that chronicle the histories of the MexiCali Biennial from 2006 to the present.
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. First conceived in 2006 by artists Ed Gomez and Luis G. Hernandez, the inaugural round of programming took place at La Casa de la Tia Tina, an artist-run space on the border town of Mexicali, and has since partnered with dozens of arts and culture organizations and collaborated with an ever expanding community of artists.
Land of Milk & Honey is organized by Ed Gomez, Luis G. Hernandez, Rosalía Romero, and April Lillard-Gomez with assistance from Enid Baxter-Ryce.
Alejandra Aragón, Carlos Castro Arias, Mely Barragan,
Juan Bastardo, Emily C-D, William Camargo,
Pablo Castañeda & Eduardo Kintero, Carolyn Castaño,
Chris Christion & Jessica Wimbley , Gerald Clarke,
Fernando Corona, Xavier Cázares Cortéz,
Juan Delgado & Thomas McGovern, Marylucille Nunez Delira, Janet Diaz, Guillermo Estrada a.k.a. Rancho Shampoo,
Edgar Fabián Frías, Liliana Conlisk Gallegos (Mystic Machete),
Isidro Pérez García, Melora Garcia, Albert Lopez Jr., Juan Luna-Avin
Narsiso Martinez, Lorena Gomez Mostajo, Dominic Paul Miller, Ruben Ochoa, Camilo Ontiveros & Javier Tapia, Cat Chiu Phillips,
Planta Libre Espacio Experimental, Alex Rivera, Cielo Saucedo,
Shinpei Takeda, Domingo Ulloa, Jazmín Urrea, Marcus Zúñiga