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What the Living Carry.
Photographs by Morgan Ashcom.
Mack, London, United Kingdom, 2017. In English. 144 pp., four-color illustrations, 8½x11½".

Publisher's Description

What the Living Carry unveils a small town named Hoy’s Fork, situated in the American South. Drawing on memories of the rural setting in which he grew up, Virginian photographer Morgan Ashcom brings together photographs, type-written letters and a hand-drawn map to build a fctional narrative of a foreboding place.

Leading us on a trail through the town and its surrounding forest, Ashcom presents scenes that point to a mysterious history, and people whose familial connections remain unknown: a forlorn old man, with champagne to hand, reclines on the corroding steps of a once grand home; a bloodied mattress is carried through an overgrown field—a solitary child burrows into a meadow, while on the streets, a man dutifully cleans a white picket fence—a vision that belies a local mural of a distant, ancient land.

Interspersing this fragmented narrative is a set of texts — four letters responding to ‘Morgan’s’ request for DNA analysis — written by ‘Eugene’ of the ‘Center for Epigenetics and Wellness of the Spirit’. 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, and inclined to elude.


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