Join 3,424 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Marwencol is a fantasy world created by Mark Hogancamp.
March 16, 2010 8:33 AM   Subscribe

After being beaten into a brain-damaging coma by five men outside a bar, Mark Hogancamp built a 1/6th scale World War II-era town in his backyard. Mark populated the town he dubbed "Marwencol" with dolls representing his friends and family and created life-like photographs detailing the town's many relationships and dramas. Playing in the town and photographing the action helped Mark to recover his hand-eye coordination and deal with the psychic wounds from the attack.

Through his homemade therapy, Mark was able to begin the long journey back into the "real world", both physically and emotionally - something he continues to struggle with today.
posted by dobbs (40 comments total) 34 users marked this as a favorite

 
I could have sworn I saw this here before, but a cursory search turned up nothing. Great stuff though. I love the details like the boot prints.
posted by craven_morhead at 8:39 AM on March 16, 2010


Nick Cage?
posted by stormpooper at 8:40 AM on March 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Nick Cage?

Uncanny.
posted by adamdschneider at 8:41 AM on March 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Good to see you back.
posted by adamvasco at 8:42 AM on March 16, 2010


8O
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:42 AM on March 16, 2010


Holy mackeral, that's amazing stuff.
posted by jquinby at 8:46 AM on March 16, 2010


The film listed was making the small screen circuit a year or two back, I watched in a barn at the time. Sounded like he still suffers from pretty acute psychological side effects.
posted by edgeways at 8:49 AM on March 16, 2010


A Nazi sniper that was hiding in the church bell tower and picking off Marwencol townsfolk is shot by my friend 101 AB Sniper.

Wonder if he'll have a bar in that town where five Nazis get what they deserve for beating up some dude.

Beautiful work. Way better than Thomas the Train.
posted by three blind mice at 8:50 AM on March 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Pretty incredible. There's a strangeness to the narration and depiction, as he uses subjects and objects that certainly existed, but applies them through model and doll work to create somewhat imaginary scenes that seem eerily reflective of photos from the time period. It feels like pictures of people who are dolls, rather than dolls who are meant to be people. I don't know if I just made any sense, but I think it's a stupendous work.
posted by Atreides at 8:50 AM on March 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


I could have sworn I saw this here before, but a cursory search turned up nothing.

I thought the same thing, and then I remembered that This American Life was recently added to Netflix, and I saw this in an episode there.

I'm glad it's on mefi, because it's a fascinating story.
posted by shmegegge at 8:51 AM on March 16, 2010


craven_morhead - You may have seen it on kottke. He posted it last night/yesterday. Fascinating to say the least. The scenes are very emotional and dramatic. That he sees himself in the story is very interesting. In one, he comments that the scene is where he was assassinated, for instance. He is calmly describing his own assassination. I'm not sure what that is about.
posted by scunning at 8:53 AM on March 16, 2010


Wow. Thanks for posting, beautiful and disturbing.
posted by Pantengliopoli at 8:56 AM on March 16, 2010


You may have seen it on kottke.

I just checked to see if he had anything interesting to add. He had a link to a vimeo page.

Good to see you back.

Thank you.
posted by dobbs at 9:02 AM on March 16, 2010


Yeah, I saw it on kottke the other day, which made me check mefi to see if it had been posted, since I felt like it had. It was probably the TAL episode that I was remembering though.
posted by craven_morhead at 9:03 AM on March 16, 2010


Mediterranean Lisa is walking through Marwencol with her tall, dark, and handsome boyfriend Yahzee... and then she sees Steve McQueen... Awesome. The header graphic's wedding photo with strung-up Germans in the back is sweet.

The blond German on the right in this one looks like a person, and the guy in they gray smoking a cigarette in this one is very expressive.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:25 AM on March 16, 2010


Wow.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:28 AM on March 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


In truth - creepy.
posted by A189Nut at 9:44 AM on March 16, 2010


This is really cool, thanks dobbs.
posted by marxchivist at 9:54 AM on March 16, 2010


What's the story of the attack?
posted by gottabefunky at 9:55 AM on March 16, 2010


This is just plain astonishing. Thanks, dobbs.
posted by Ron Thanagar at 10:19 AM on March 16, 2010


Nick Cage?
That's actually Mark himself.
posted by lumensimus at 10:26 AM on March 16, 2010


This link appears to shed a little light on the attack.
posted by kalessin at 10:27 AM on March 16, 2010


It reminds me of Henry Darger, a bit.
posted by anazgnos at 10:27 AM on March 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


What's the story of the attack?

Yes. Being beaten into a coma outside a bar... I would like to know more about that. I had a friend who was nearly beaten to death outside a gay bar, and immediately wondered if that was the context of this attack, also.
posted by hippybear at 10:27 AM on March 16, 2010


http://www.artnet.com/magazineus/features/saltz/saltz5-26-06.asp

> "On Apr. 8, 2000, Mark Hogancamp was attacked by five young men in a Kingston, N.Y., parking lot. The assault left the ex–navy man, carpenter and showroom designer in a coma for nine days. He emerged with brain damage that initially made it impossible for him to walk, eat or speak."

Judging from what little else I could find, there's not a lot to be told. Hogancamp has scant memory of it and it doesn't sound like anybody else has come forward with additional info.
posted by ardgedee at 10:34 AM on March 16, 2010


Wow, that was really interesting. Going through the photos you can tell he's working through some things, it makes me feel very voyeuristic, like I'm spying on someone in therapy.
posted by julie_of_the_jungle at 10:37 AM on March 16, 2010


He mentions in one of the videos that he testified in court, so it sounds like they at least arrested the guys. I couldn't find anything else, though.
posted by inmediasres at 10:41 AM on March 16, 2010


This makes me think of Uncle Toby in Sterne's Tristram Shandy. In the novel, the character ultimately discovers that the most effective way of coping with the trauma of the wound he receives at the Siege of Namur is to build a miniature scale model of the siegeworks on the bowling green outside his family home, and on it he replays the war.
posted by hydatius at 11:02 AM on March 16, 2010


This was definitely here before, quite some time ago. It's very cool, but it's definitely a double. I'm pretty sure we're not finding it because maybe he didn't have his own site before---it was pics from a friend of a friend or something.

Definitely very cool though.
posted by TomMelee at 11:03 AM on March 16, 2010


Ordinary and ominous. Brilliant, given the context.
posted by drogien at 11:04 AM on March 16, 2010


He was featured in a great segment on This American Life's TV series.
posted by JBennett at 11:07 AM on March 16, 2010


This is weird and fascinating and a lot more compelling than the way most people do this (with Sims).
posted by ricochet biscuit at 11:22 AM on March 16, 2010


People in Austin can see it this Friday at 1:15pm at the Alamo South Lamar. The Alamo twitter feed insinuates that show attendance is winding down, so more chances for non-badge people to get tickets as days go by.
posted by fontophilic at 12:07 PM on March 16, 2010


A medic rescues the wounded Major from his destroyed jeep after an ambush by the SS. This photo won me $40 in a photo contest online. I used the money to buy my wife Anna.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:07 PM on March 16, 2010


The more I look at these pictures the more I love them.

To me, at least, they seem like a perfect little study of a weird little niche of American masculinity gone to a more innocent place, but I may be projecting too much.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 1:14 PM on March 16, 2010


This is amazing and unsettling and creepy and life-affirming, all at the same time.
posted by tommasz at 1:56 PM on March 16, 2010


Thank you for posting that. I was mesmerized.
posted by zzazazz at 2:45 PM on March 16, 2010


Still creepy and getting more so by the minute
posted by A189Nut at 4:29 PM on March 16, 2010


Great post & nice to see you back, dobbs.
posted by madamjujujive at 4:35 PM on March 16, 2010


>Nick Cage?

Uncanny.


This post is more Nick Cave than Nick Cage.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:04 PM on March 16, 2010


« Older David Livingston's [NSFW] Big Dick series [NSFW] f...  |  "At first, I thought, 'Why sho... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments