Featured Photographer: Ivonne Thein’s “Thirty-Two Kilos”

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Featured Photographer: Ivonne Theins Thirty Two Kilos

The most common reaction to Ivonne Thein’s photos is horror. The women in them are emaciated, wrapped in medical bandages and contorted. Hipbones, elbows and shoulder blades jut out as if begging for release from their diseased bodies.

The wall text offers some comfort: The photos are digitally manipulated.

The exhibition, which goes on display today at the Goethe-Institut Washington, is titled “Thirty-Two Kilos,” which refers to the weight (about 70 pounds) of a French actress who posed naked for ads condemning anorexia.

Thein’s decision to obscure the models’ faces forces the viewer to focus on their bodies, particularly the exaggerated limbs, says Al Miner, a curator at the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, who will be on a panel tonight at the Goethe-Institut to discuss “Thirty-Two Kilos.”

“It’s clear that she’s mocking or appropriating poses that we see in edgier haute couture editorial work. . . . They look uncomfortable and bizarre. The poses are a reminder that they’re a critique of the fashion industry and not just weight loss.”

Thein, a 29-year-old German photographer and student, was inspired to create the series of 14 photographs after reading about “pro-ana” (or pro-anorexia) Web sites in a magazine. People on these sites, which have been around since at least the late ’90s, argue that anorexia is a lifestyle choice like any other. Their fellowship revolves around encouraging one another’s starvation and offering weight-loss tips.

“It was a real shock for me,” says Thein, who has shot commercial fashion photography for European magazines. “It’s important for people to know that every teenager can get this information on the Internet.”

Via Washington Post

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Article by Amanda Gabriele, Contributor

Amanda realized at a young age she could turn her love for materialistic bullshit into a lucrative career. She gets the best of two worlds working in both fashion merchandising and journalism. Amanda's obsessions include Johnnie Walker Black Label, jamming to Lil Wayne at obnoxious noise levels and working on her memoir "Sex, Drugs and Burning Chairs: The Kent State Experience." She possesses more knowledge about underwear than you could ever accumulate in your entire life. Midwestern born, bred and corrupted, Amanda currently resides in Brooklyn with the ///Slant///. Amanda Gabriele, Contributor tagged this post with: , , Read 369 articles by Amanda Gabriele, Contributor
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