During D’Arcy’s little chat with ds106 today, Stephanie Laffert’s asked what his opinion is of “the staged versus the natural”. I immediately thought of Marwencol. Those of you who are fans of This American Life probably already know what Marwencol is (it was on the TV version, and yes, I’m very ‘white’), but for the rest of you I will explain. A man named Mark Hogancamp was at a bar in New York one night, when he was brutally beaten up. He remembers little of his life before that night and his motor skills were significantly impaired. As a form of physical therapy he created Marwencol, a miniature village created entirely by Hogancamp. Marwencol creates an alternate reality for Hogancamp, who has a likeness in the form of a Ken doll. Above is a picture from a series of photographs that Hogancamp took and created a story with.
Marwencol has recently become the subject of a documentary. It was playing for one week at E Street Cinema in D.C. and I couldn’t convince any of my friends to go. I’m very bitter about it.