Exploring perspectives on love through photos

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Princeton students, faculty and staff members offer photographic perspectives on the question "What Is Love?" in an exhibition currently on view in the Murray-Dodge Hall lobby. "Father and Daughter," taken by senior Marissa Lee, is one of 31 images in the exhibition, which features scenes ranging from familial to natural to spiritual in a variety of international settings.

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In "Enjoying the Beauty of Life," taken by senior Angela Rodriguez, a couple observes the interior garden of the San Juan de Los Reyes monastery in Toledo, Spain.

A grandmother kneading bread dough for a family meal. A young girl celebrating the coming of spring. Two zebras nuzzling in a game reserve.

Featuring international settings ranging from domestic to natural to spiritual, a series of photographs exploring the question "What Is Love?" is on view in the Murray-Dodge Hall lobby on the Princeton campus. The exhibition includes 31 images selected from almost 150 submissions by University students, faculty and staff members in a contest seeking photographic perspectives on the theme of love.

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"Love is the care and kindness with which my grandmother bakes bread for her family," junior Stephanie "Q" Miceli wrote of her photo, "The Secret Ingredient."

Three three winning images that were given special commendation by the exhibition's curators are: "The Secret Ingredient," a photo by junior Stephanie "Q" Miceli of her grandmother's hands as she prepares to bake bread; "Eternal, Unforgettable," sophomore Sofia Quinodoz's photo of a banner depicting the faces of missing loved ones in Honduras; and "Welcome," showing the arrival of a new baby to a family in the Brazilian state of Bahia, photographed by Jennifer Cabral-Pierce, a digital imaging technician for the Princeton University Library.

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Vineet Chander, coordinator for Hindu life in the Office of Religious Life, captured this photo, titled "Flowers in Her Hair," at a festival in Mumbia, India, where "devotees joyously shower one another with flower petals and celebrate the coming of spring as a gift of the Divine."

Several images in the exhibition show couples or family members -- both young and old -- embracing or enjoying each other's company in various surroundings. Others reflect less traditional depictions of love. In a photograph by Vineet Chander, coordinator for Hindu life in the Office of Religious Life, a girl is joyfully showered with flower petals at a festival in Mumbai, India, marking the arrival of spring. In another image, taken by junior Christina Gupfinger, a pair of zebras share a kiss at the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve in South Africa.

"Some photos display the ecstatic experience of love in a moment, and the enduring love of a mother for her children," said Paul Raushenbush, associate dean of religious life and one of the exhibition's curators. "Yet others are more ambiguous, such as the banner of the faces of beloved, 'disappeared' men in Central America, reminding us that, in Princeton Professor Cornel West's words: 'Justice is what love looks like in public.' The photos reaffirm the centrality of love in sacred traditions and in our relations to one another and the natural world."

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The exhibition features several images that reflect whimsical depictions of love, such as "Anna and Chicken, 2009" by junior Alex Knoepflmacher.

The curators' aim is for viewers to be "inspired by this exhibit to consider where you find and offer love in your lives so that love might increase in our families, communities and the world," Raushenbush added.

"What Is Love?" is the latest in an annual series of exhibitions of photographs by Princeton community members who were asked to submit images addressing concepts such as sacredness, family, peace and hope.

The exhibition will be on view in Murray-Dodge until Wednesday, Nov. 30, and also can be viewed online.

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Sophomore Sofia Quinodoz's photo, titled "Eternal, Unforgettable," shows a banner of remembrance honoring missing loved ones in Honduras.

In addition to Raushenbush, curators for "What Is Love?" were: Deborah Blanks, associate dean of religious life; Alison Boden, dean of religious life and the chapel; Cynthia Cherrey, vice president for campus life; junior Habin Chung, executive editor for photography at The Daily Princetonian student newspaper; Makeba Clay, director of the University's Fields Center for Equality and Cultural Understanding; Thomas Dunne, associate dean of undergraduate students; Patricia Fernandez-Kelly, senior lecturer in sociology; and Demetrius Oliver, lecturer in visual arts and Princeton's Lewis Center for the Arts.

The exhibition is sponsored by the Office of Religious Life, the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students, the Office of the Vice President for Campus Life and The Daily Princetonian.

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Jennifer Cabral-Pierce, a digital imaging technician for the Princeton University Library, documented the arrival of a new baby to a family in the Brazilian state of Bahia in this photo, titled "Welcome."


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"Zebra Kiss" was taken by junior Christina Gupfinger at the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve in South Africa.


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Describing her photo, "Once Upon a Gondola," sophomore Sajda Ouachtouki writes, "In Venice, sunset is the most romantic time of day to take a ride on a gondola. Families, friends and lovers stand on long lines in order to be able to take a ride across Venice’s shimmering waters.”