saint-louis

Johannes Wohnseifer, The Thin Commandments (detail), 2010, ten silk-screened prints, each 27 3/5 x 19 2/3".

Johannes Wohnseifer

Isolation Room

Johannes Wohnseifer, The Thin Commandments (detail), 2010, ten silk-screened prints, each 27 3/5 x 19 2/3".

Inside a seven-by-seven-by-nine-foot wooden box built within a living room in south Saint Louis, Cologne-based artist Johannes Wohnseifer posted The Thin Commandments, 2010. Emblazoned across ten silk-screened prints, the work relayed ten self-directed comments common to eating disorders: for example, THOU SHALT NOT EAT WITHOUT FEELING GUILTY; IF YOU AREN’T THIN YOU AREN’T ATTRACTIVE; BEING THIN IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN BEING HEALTHY; and so on. Each dictum appeared on a discrete, brilliantly colored poster bearing subtle patterning, squeegee marks, modulations of saturation, and ghosted letters. In strictly visual terms, The Thin Commandments is a group of beautiful objects, their sleek Helvetica typeface set against ebullient fields of navy, mauve, lemon yellow, tangerine, pomegranate, and charcoal gray. But these surfaces seduced the viewer only to lay bare the essential role of

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