Amanda Ribas

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"Mother", January 2008
"Boyfriend", January 2008
"Ex-Boyfriend", January 2008
"Father", January 2008
"Ex-Friend", January 2008
"Brother", January 2008
"Best Friend", January 2008
Quick Facts
Virginia Beach, VA
Birth year
Lives in
Los Angeles
Works in
Los Angeles
CalArts (California Institute of the Arts), 2010, Bachelors of Fine Arts, Photography

I feel as if I am at a pivotal point in my life and that maybe through the lens of a camera everything will make sense. My work is decidedly introspective and I evaluate my relationships, my views, my fears, and myself through a process of removal and assessment. I am also interested in the relationship between the viewer of my work and the work itself. I wish to break down the confidence people experience when viewing images. Inherent in the photographic process is the influence of the artist’s intentions and the camera’s selectivity. I want people who view this work to consider that they have been deceived once by the images, and again by the text.  My most current work the Hitchhiker Projection has married these ideas together in an attempt to challenge my viewer and myself.


In this body of work I have made everyone who I have known intimately into strangers. I have attempted to detach myself from them in order to evaluate our relationships in search of truth and clarity. The desire to do this project began with the imminent change in my family dynamic. By the end of this year my younger brother will leave for university, my parents will move to another city, and I will clearly be on my own. The disintegration of my nuclear family has changed me, just as it has altered how I view and appreciate my family. The closeness I have experienced with friends and boyfriends has also changed in this process of questioning my relationship with my family members. Here I have considered the distance that has grown between others and myself while also making an effort to keep these people close in a different narrative consequence.


Posed as a hitchhiker, I must trust these “strangers” in order to reach my destination. Each of my close family members or friends “picks me up” and we drive across the American landscape revealing our own qualities to each other. I have utilized the small space of a car, a socially specific and extremely intimate interaction, in order to encapsulate the best or worst qualities I have observed in the people with whom I am closest. Throughout the narrative I face danger and learn important lessons, just I have in my life with these people. I have turned our realities into fictional events to explore their meanings.


I do have power as the artist that I do not have in real life. I have the power to convey any message that I wish and to portray people how I want to represent them. The strengths of the camera prevail within a constructed image as a manipulative force that can mold any viewer’s impression of the subjects. My friends and family have no voice and I speak for them as the image-maker. I have shown myself the things I allow myself to see in others and I see how I have expanded or narrowed the other. In this way, the evaluation of others becomes an evaluation of myself. 




note: the text that accompanies these images can be seen on my blog.