Interview: Andrea Riba

Interview: Andrea Riba
Image courtesy of Andrea Riba

Interview: Andrea Riba

 

Luca Curci talks with the artist Andrea Riba during LIQUID ROOMS – THE LABYRINTH 2017 in Venice.

Andrea Riba is a Chilean born, Mexican-American multi-media artist. Through claymation animation and stop-motion techniques, she approaches the medium as a means to create a world of one’s own – in which its logic functions by the agency of the artist itself. By doing so, she creates alternative realities that orbit themes of sustainability, environmental concerns, and inter-galactic colonization. Likewise, she utilizes photography – photojournalism and curated photoshoots, as a means to twist reality, as well as illuminate untold stories that entertain the concepts in media, data, and technology in parallel to themes of identity, heritage, and culture.

 

Interview: Andrea Riba
Image courtesy of Andrea Riba

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Luca Curci – What is the message linked to the artwork you have shown in this exhibition? How is it connected to the theme of the event?

Andrea Riba – The message linked to “Alien Gardens” highlights the notions of progress and development that orbit a deceiving mindset in which societal webs must consume in order to prosper, develop, and grow. Despite this, a uniting consciousness has gained strength against the myth of progress. At a steady pace we begin to unveil the inner workings of the logic as destructive and counter-intuitive on various levels. Zooming in, we shall explore this idea concretely. For means of pure entertainment, Hollywood has been thriving on the prediction of an apocalyptic world. Let us note the irony in which wealthy and ‘cultured’ actors and actresses illuminate a theory that take us back to our primitive roots- survival of the fittest. Likewise, formerly underdeveloped countries such as India and Vietnam are undergoing a visible metamorphosis. Landscapes representing rich culture have now shifted towards industrial landscapes. Factories, blood and sweat begin to creep alongside ancient temples- symbols of religion and heritage. Despite the alarming issues at hand, it seems as though economic agendas, and less obvious representations in popular culture have indulged in the thought rather than acted upon it. Let us note the counter-intuitive motion in which, a growing awareness of our planets fragility has likewise set its destiny in stone. Doomsday is approaching, and there is no turning back. Here is where we diverge from a determinist perception of the world.

 

Interview: Andrea RibaImage courtesy of Andrea Riba

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Through a different lens, we shall acknowledge the strides and accomplishments towards sustainability that have been made over the past century. In order to continue propelling forward in shifting our paradigm, we must acknowledge and act upon the transition towards a sustainable way of life. Indulging in an apocalyptic mindset will hinder the progressive strides. Through this animation, we shall view the apocalypse as the Mayans had- not the fall of the Earth but rather a new beginning. It begins with the last man on the planet, left to observe an abandoned zoo, quickly accompanied by alien figures that abduct him to the abundant Zotzo planet. Despite the planets fruitfulness, he does not feel intrinsic to the community – it is not his planet. After constantly chasing Earth, he finds himself on a new version of Earth that thrives on sustainability and community- a societal web that connects with nature on an intuitive level, treating their resources with the utmost respect and gratitude.

 

Interview: Andrea Riba
Image courtesy of Andrea Riba

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L. C. – Are your artworks focused on a specific theme?

A. R. – There definitely is an underlying relationship between all of the art pieces I have made so far. There is a central unity per say, in that I aim to focus on creating work that removes the idea of the ‘other’ by shedding light to the those groups and peoples in a way that does not change the position of who lies in the position of power, but rather creates an equal pedestal for all mankind. I am interested in entertaining the idea that there is, contrary to popular belief, a universal consciousness of sorts that strives to keep cultures, traditions, and customs pulsing- perceiving the later as a truth or purpose in life. This consciousness aims to place differences on an equal plane by understanding habits and customs through the voices of those that lie on the outside, rather than inflicting an understanding of the outside through narrow binoculars- or our own context. Within this conscious, nature remains a fundamental key to well-being, sustainability, and life- rather than a profit machine. The notion of an equal platform outlined in the later has the potential to aid that which fuels hate, violence, and oppression in the world.

 

Interview: Andrea Riba
Image courtesy of Andrea Riba

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L. C. – Did you style change over the years? How?

A. R. – I wouldn’t necessarily say that my style has changed over the years. I have always dealt with the same mediums- primarily being stop-motion animation and photography. The primary experiences that have molded the focus of my works have been the same ones that have sculpted my own interests, values, and ideals as a person. Specifically, some of the most transformative experiences in my life have been in non-Western countries. Coming to contact with groups and peoples, such as indigenous cultures, has enabled me to perceive the meaning of society, our relationship to nature, and our relationship to ourselves through a new lens- one that takes into account the true nature of mankind as one that thrives from community, sustainability, and an inherent connection with nature and oneself. I began to realize the amount of noise within our Western societies today, such as the programs that are embedded into our conscious from a young age- a strict Western framework that distracts us from the true fulfillment of life. These experiences are pivotal turning points that have inspired me to create art that illuminates the importance of suppressed cultures and traditions, the dismissal of identity as defined by material success, and finally- the removal of strict binaries that categorize individuals in relation to their race, culture, and heritage- placing them in polar opposite boxes, and by doing so, further exacerbating conflicts by creating an extensive separation in humanity today.

 

Interview: Andrea Riba
Image courtesy of Andrea Riba

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L. C. – Which are your artistic projects for the future? Is there any possibilities for a new participation in some Italian exhibitions?

A. R. – Right now, I am working on a new claymation that orbits the notion of colonization through an intergalactic context- the colonization of Mars. For this piece, I plan to push the limit even further by creating a small world that will represent Mars, rather than having the same stage that transforms into different sceneries- such as in Alien Gardens. By doing so, I think this will also push me to experiment more with scale and space as a crucial foundation to the piece. As for the theme itself, I plan on creating a narrative in which the extraterrestrials represent the ‘other’- and the colonizers represent the supremacist tendencies we can observe in various countries and contexts today.

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