Morgan Ashcom (born in Free Union, Virginia, 1982) is a photographer based in Charlottesville, VA. He received his BFA from George Mason University and his MFA from the University of Hartford. Ashcom’s work has been exhibited and published both nationally, internationally and has won numerous awards including Center’s Choice Awards, the German Photobook Award and Center for Photography at Woodstock’s Photography Now Purchase Prize. Ashcom has been an artist in residence at Light Work and has taught photography at Western Connecticut State University, Ithaca College, University of Hartford, Cornell University and the University of Virginia.
What the Living Carry
What the Living Carry unveils a small town named Hoy’s Fork, situated in rural America. Drawing on memories of the rural setting in which I grew up, What the Living Carry brings together photographs, a hand-drawn map, single channel video, photographically generated sculptures, and rubbings to build a narrative of generational and social connectivity. Interspersing this narrative is a set of texts – four letters, and their carbon negative counterparts, responding to ‘Morgan’s’ request for DNA analysis – written by ‘Eugene’ of the ‘Center for Epigenetics and Wellness of the Spirit’. Together these pieces physically and narratively explore generational transmission in accordance with the material nature of the media employed, but also through the content depicted. In What the Living Carry, the past can neither be recovered nor escaped, but perhaps its relationship to the present can be reconstituted.
Leading us on a trail through the town and its surrounding forest, What the Living Carry presents scenes that point to a mysterious history, and people whose familial connections remain unknown. If What the Living Carry provides a set of clues to unravel the enigma behind this strange world, it is through a visual record that is simultaneously autobiographical and imagined.
To view more of Morgan’s work please visit his website.