La Cocinera, 1995
In a year in which the theme for the Oxford Symposium was 'Cooks and Other People' Alicia's performance illustrated how social change and technology has dramatically transformed food production and the practice of cooking.
The highlight of every Oxford Symposium is the (sometimes non verbal) performance by Alicia Rios. This year she gave us a two act play, portraying the past, preparing cocido while dressed all in black as a peasant woman scornful of exact quantities and scientific directions. After a rapid change of costume into a space-age jumpsuit, she showed how a future cook would make the same dish, inspecting the sell by date and checking the label to see that none of the diners were allergic to any of the additives listed.
-Paul Levy, The Wall Street Journal, 15.9.95
In her portrayal of cooking in the future Alicia comments on our contemporary preoccupations with food safety, a theme picked up by other artists. For example, in 1996 at A Progressive Dinner in Sydney, Megan Elliot, Gail Priest and Regina Heilman presented the performance Emulsify, in which they became scientists investigating the food sanitation, our phobia of germs and expiry dates.