Cloth $60.00 ISBN: 9781935195368 Published March 2013

About Face

Sage Sohier

About Face
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Sage Sohier

Distributed for Columbia College Chicago Press

With an Essay by Carolyn Abbate
83 pages | 55 color plates | 11 x 11 | © 2012
Cloth $60.00 ISBN: 9781935195368 Published March 2013

Through the influences of vanity, aging, and insecurities, many find fault with their own faces and few achieve their own notions of perfection. Yet, in the course of such self-criticism, most people take for granted their own ability to explore and employ the full range of facial expressions and the range of emotions those expressions convey.

In About Face Sage Sohier’s photographs portray people who have varying degrees of facial paralysis, a condition that usually occurs on just one side of the face and can result from a multitude of causes, including Bell’s palsy, tumors, strokes, accidents, and congenital nerve damage. Working in a clinic in Boston that provides physical therapy, Botox treatments, and sometimes surgery, Sohier documents patients before treatment, and in some cases captures their progress over time, witnessing hope and excitement as they regain the ability to smile, speak, and eat. 

Dawoud Bey
About Face adds immensely to the field of portraiture, while providing new and needed insight into the range of medical afflictions affecting how one, in fact, presents his or her face to the world. Given the broad demographic reflected in the subjects, viewers are likely to encounter someone with whom they are able to forge a deep momentary connection. That is, ultimately, what the best photographs achieve, and Sage Sohier’s body of work succeeds in that ambition.”
"The irony is that faces with paralysis just might be the most complex. Perhaps it creates a more honest portrait than those of us who can simply just say 'cheese.'"
Facial Paralysis and the Origins of About Face
The Plates
Causes of Facial Paralysis
List of Plates
Losing Face, Taking Heart
      Carolyn Abbate

About the Photographer and Essayist
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