Posted by: mahoganycloud | December 16, 2012

The Kiss of Peace

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‘Kiss of Peace’-Cameron

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Farewell of Saints Peter and Paul, showing the Apostles giving each other the holy kiss before their martyrdom. (Alonzo Rodriguez, 16th century, Museo Regionale di Messina).2008BU5440_cameron-the_turtle_doves

Cameron’s ‘Turtle Doves’

I am currently working on my final paper. One of the pictures that I am analyzing is Julia Cameron’s ” Turtle Doves.” At first glance, the first thing that probably comes to mind is that it is a sensual picture. The two girls in the photo are embracing each other, and their lips are together in what seems to be an open-mouth kiss. Is it erotic? I argue that it its not quite, but rather it is representing devoted love. It seems as if Cameron is not only looking towards biblical scriptures for inspiration to create her ‘Madonna and Child’ photographs. It seems as if she is also getting inspiration to create her “kiss of peace.” The kiss of Peace”  is common in the bible.

I Peter 5:14 states:  Greet one another with a kiss of love”

The kisses in these images are not meant to be taken as sexual kisses. Instead, they are meant to represent what they did in a biblical sense.

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Responses

  1. I think too, in our culture, we tend to sexualize so many things because we are programmed to. How many ads show women in “sexual” positions, car ads with scantily clad models draped over the hood, or photos of a model’s mouth and tongue. Ads with sexual undertone proliferate. So we can’t help but place a sexual undertone to many images that we see.

  2. I agree with you both. While it is our inclination to read this image as sexualized, I don’t think we can say with any certainty that that is the original intent. To what extent are we reading this image with “modern” eyes and bringing in all of the connotations that Laura mentions above? Are we programmed to see sexuality where there is none? This brings to mind the minor scandals that occurred many years ago surrounding photos that parents would take of babies in bathtubs being misconstrued by photo developers as harmful or pornographic.


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