P. N. I.
1998–99, Gelatin silver print on fiber base paper, each 109 x 83 cm, 30 works
The face-like images in these large-format photographs were made by cutting out features from faces appearing in magazines and newspapers and reassembling them in a kind of “pin-the-tail
-on-the-donkey” method, giving them a three-dimensional feel by applying them over clay molds. By rendering these preposterously unbalanced pastiches of cut-out eyes, noses, and mouths so out-of-focus as to push the limits of the perceptible, our visual habits of recognizing people without really looking at them and the dangers inherent in it are highlighted. “P. N. I.” stands for Portrait Non Identifié, a phrase coined by Onodera. The images of “C. V. N. I.”, exhibited at the same time, are characterized by their rough granularity, but the “P. N. I.” images were processed to present am extremely smooth finish with no visible grain.