People We Love: Pittsburgh Art Installation Goes International | Visual arts | Pittsburgh

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Photo: Renée Rosensteel

The people we love exhibition

Love is set to multiply in Pittsburgh this weekend, as a downtown video installation of 140 amorous yinzers joins 100 loving smiles in York, England.

Airing since April 8, People We Love is a montage of videos taken of ordinary people tasked with looking at photographs of a loved one while listening to a guided meditation. All participants are volunteers and the images from which they were inspired are not revealed in the installation.

Until now, the exhibition inside One Oxford Center has only featured local faces, but the British artist behind the project, Kit Monkman, is set to import some subjects from his country native. From Friday, June 3 through Sunday, June 5, the exhibit will feature comparative images of people from York alongside those from Pittsburgh.

Monkman says the thrust of the project is to capture universal expressions of human love that transcend cultures and nationalities.

“’People We Love’ is a work of worldwide significance; and the ability to read a loving human face is universal,” Monkman said in a press release. “Each face tells its own unique story, and each edition of People We Love speaks to, and to, its own community. That’s why I’m so happy that the people of Pittsburgh see over 100 people from York in this setting, alongside residents of the Pittsburgh community.

Coinciding with the weekend expansion, organizations Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, Britsburgh and UK-based Mediale will host a free “international celebration event” at 320 Smithfield Street from 1-5pm on Sunday. Light refreshments will be served.

Jeremy Waldrup, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, said the exhibit has so far “revealed love and connection in a truly remarkable way that affects both participant and viewer alike.” .

“The addition of faces from another culture further emphasizes that love and emotions connect us, regardless of our geography,” Waldrup says in a press release. “We can all understand what it means to love and be loved.”

International celebration of the people we love. 1-5 p.m. Sunday, June 5. One Oxford Center. 320 Smithfield Street, downtown. Free.

Briana R. Cross