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Passing Time
by Sage Sohier

"During the isolation of the pandemic, I had the opportunity to revisit my archive of negatives and contact sheets from the 1980s, and discovered a number of interesting images that I had never printed. These photographs were made between 1979 and 1985 in a pre-digital, largely un-air-conditioned era, when people fled the heat of their houses to hang out in their yards and on the street. I notice a kind of relaxed sensuality in many of the pictures. Time moved more slowly; restlessness led to spontaneous play. Young people back then were fit and lean from running around outside with their friends and neighbors. 

As a young photographer, my rather grandiose ambition was to create a portrait of contemporary America by photographing people in their environments. I was obsessed with making the best complex pictures that I could of people hanging out in neighborhoods, in their homes, and on their porches. I had to work quite quickly, so that I could let people get back to whatever they were doing when I first asked if I could photograph them. Though asking permission usually changed the dynamic of the situation, interesting things would often emerge when I was allowed to stay for longer than a picture or two. Intruding on people’s personal space could feel awkward, and was never easy to do, but most of the time it seemed that my enthusiasm was contagious and people were able to relax and be themselves.” 

— From the Introduction by Sage Sohier

Sage Sohier has been photographing people in their environments for more than 30 years, after receiving her B.A. from Harvard University. Her work is included in many major public and private collections, including those of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Cleveland Museum of Art; Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art; Portland Museum of Art; and the Brooklyn Museum.

Passing Time presents 57 images printed in rich duotone on Japanese Kasadaka art paper, and bound in dark brown linen. This first edition is limited to 1,000 casebound copies.

76 pages
11x13 inches
57 duotone photographs