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“Are faces more important than bodies? You look at bodies, see their movement, perhaps admire them, but most of your eye-time with other people is spent focused on their faces. Like it or not, faces are how people judge people. Who we love. Who we hate. Even before they speak. One study shows that 90% of us think we can discern others’ personalities from their features alone. Seeing bodies without faces is immediately unsettling.
By obliterating their own features or those of others, the people in this book somehow made the most mundane photographs disturbing; scratching, tearing, or photoshopping lovers and friends from their lives, altering the meaning of the pictures whose original purpose was to commemorate happiness.
But while anger or shame probably lead to many of these shots being defaced, others were cleverly altered for more functiona purposes. For instance, the gay men protecting their identities on pick-up sites are simply being sensible, yet the results are still discomforting. In shot after shot, we see toned exteriors like shop room dummies with no sense of the person behing the pecs. This series is perhaps a neat metaphor for Internet sex generally – millions of people prepared to reveal anything except themselves”, collected photographss of people whose faces have been made unrecognizable and anonymous, a photo book that “represent[s] everyone” because“[s]tripped of their individuality, these images achieve a peculiar universality”, with half a page of text by Christian Bunyan speculating about facelessness, stapled, with dust jacket, 22,5 x 17 cm, 40 not numbered pages, ed/500, Amsterdam 2008