“Rites and Rituals,” is a personal project for AMY ARBUS, showing people at ceremonial events who for the most part, like the “On the Street” subjects, know they’re being photographed. That involves them breaking away from the ceremony long enough to face the camera. Even the most exotic participant is thereby made, as Arbus says, “as real as you or I.”

The pictures include participants in religious and patriotic events, third world festivities, American pastimes and cultural celebrations. “They’re taken at events but not a description of the event,” she said. “The people are in the environment of the ritual, but not in the act. For instance, the Irish dancers are all shown not dancing.”

The project began in New York, engendered by “the one world look of New York City,” she said. But at this point the pictures span the globe. “Now when I travel I try to find whatever’s going on that might be interesting,” she said. “The collection has never been published and it’s never been finished.”

For information about ‘Rites and Rituals’ prints please email