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Traveling Eating Disorder Installation

In today’s culture, negative body image and eating disorders are increasingly common.

Artist Joy Christiansen Erb explains, “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 in the United States. 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.

Joy Christiansen Erb currently resides in Youngstown, Ohio, where she is an Assistant Professor of Photography at Youngstown State University. Her recent work has culminated into an exhibition entitled Family Gathering, which is currently traveling to different venues around the United States. To see photos of the exhibit as well as the schedule of exhibits, go to