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White and Black, Things and Rituals


Installation, 2021

Glazed clay and paper


Alicia Velázquez’s installation is an invitation to savor and share a metaphorical meal. Crafted in ceramic, eight “dishes” compose a delicious visual and haptic “meal” that is laid out on a large table. The meal represents the conclusion of her six-month project “White and Black, Things and Rituals,” which explores themes of togetherness and belonging. Each of the eight “dishes” has been co-prepared in intimate encounters with eight Spanish women of different ages, backgrounds, and arrival years in Zurich. During these encounters, each woman was invited to prepare a “meal” representative of her self by using clay as her medium. Migrant misinterpretations, cultural dissonances, daily stories, memories, personality traits, as well as past, present, and future are thus inscribed in these cooperative ceramic objects.


The installation is exhibited following the event “White, Black, and Things,” which takes place on December 5th as part of Club La Fafa’s Diaspora Talk. “White, Black, and Things” invites the participating women, together with the audience, to collectively activate the installation during an open conversation.


Through its exploration of private and public, both the project and event aim to connect individual and participatory rituals, focusing on the inner stories that express our common human foundations beyond culture, gender, race, profession, or social status.


Supported by: Covid-19 Stipendium der Stadt Zürich Kultur, Kanton Zürich Bildende Künste

Alicia Velázquez’s work explores intimacy and belonging, aspects of time, and the convergence of internal and external realities by using a fluid variety of media. Her ritualistic performances and installations act as scaffolds where humans, objects, lines, and colors are invited to construct and experience moments of togetherness. With recurrent inquiries into her own as well as others’ timely identity, Velázquez performs ritualistic, years-long repetitive actions, which are often interwoven with her personal, intimate routines.

Alicia Velázquez studied architecture at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. After her graduation she worked and lived in New York City, Amsterdam, Barcelona, and Madrid before eventually moving to Zurich in 2013. As an independent designer, Velázquez works across cultures, teams, disciplines, and media, including graphic design, scenography, interiors, and installations. In 2015, she received the ADAPTr Marie Curie European grant for a residency period in Brussels (1,5 years), during which she developed her first performances.

Shedhalle – Alicia Velázquez: “White and Black, Things and Rituals”

Alicia Velázquez: “White and Black, Things and Rituals”
Photo: Alicia Olmos Ochoa