Ashley Markle – Weekends with my Mother and her Lover

Weekends with my Mother and her Lover (2020) is a project exploring the dynamics between myself, my mother, and my stepfather. Instead of only looking at the way in which all three of us coexist, I also study each of us as individuals. The work examines all three of these characters through the traumas experienced in their childhood as well as the implications of social and societal norms inflicted upon them. Each member is viewed as a wounded child in an aged body versus an adult who should know better. Life experiences are housed in our bodies acting as vehicles for our interactions. I highlight shapes made by the body in choreographed moments of subconscious communication between myself and my family. Flesh becomes a consistent visual in the images; the body is the sentence and flesh is the ink.

Looking at the body of a middle aged man or woman, and a 25 year old woman each carry their own implications based on norms and constructs imposed upon us by a narrow-minded society. With these implications, viewers form ideas about how my stepfather and I, or my mother and I should appropriately interact. Transforming roles, exchanging control, and highlighting sexuality form new ways of looking at these subjects. Through acts of implicit voyeurism, performance and re-defining documentary portraiture, this project provides both constructed and serendipitous ways of looking at my Midwest family.

Ashley Markle is an artist working with photography and mixed media. Originally from Ohio, she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Film at Kent State University in 2017. Shortly after, she moved to Brooklyn, NY and realized her passion for still photography. She completed the Continuing Education Track Program at the International Center of Photography then continued on to the Advanced Track Program in which she received a full scholarship. Her work has been exhibited/published in “Not Me, Us” a collaborative photobook raising money for those affected by COVID-19, Photographing in the time of COVID-19 an online exhibition by The Photographer’s Eye Collective, and “ICPConcerned” an exhibition by the International Center of Photography, curated by David Campany.

Currently, she is working on self-publishing a photobook of the work from Weekends with my Mother and her Lover., applying to MFA Programs for Fall 2021, producing/designing a monthly collaborative zine, and making new work with her biological father.