Joy Christiansen Erb

Family Gathering

In today’s culture, negative body image and eating disorders are increasingly common. This is influenced by an overabundance of visual representations that occur in film, television and mass print media promoting dieting, thinness, and the objectification of women’s bodies. In response to this trend, Family Gathering, a photo-based installation, presents the harsh reality of the disorder through personal interviews of both individual sufferers and from their family members and friends.

In this exhibition, a room full of furniture is arranged in the format of a typical upper-middle class living room. Each piece of furniture is adorned with photographic imagery and text from the personal interviews. The combination of furniture, photography and text is used to initiate dialogue about this difficult and important subject. The comfortable and familiar veneer of the furniture serves as a welcome invitation to the viewer. Once the subtle imagery and text become visible, anonymous stories are revealed through each piece of furniture, bringing the room to life

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