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Video: Marwencol

General Patton comes to Marwencol to inspect the troops. Photo by Mark E. Hogancamp. Courtesy of The Cinema Guild.

I was able to check out the documentary Marwencol from the public library today; this is the documentary film about artist Mark Hogancamp.  There had been sections of the film previously on the Marwencol website which still showcases the photographic art.  I was really happy with the quality of the film; it was able to tell the story of the attack that lead to the coma and traumatic brain injury to Mark Hogancamp, his recovery and search for solace in creativity in a very level and compassionate manner.  Mark Hogancamp said in the film that the attack that basically destroyed his entire memory took everything from him, but it was with relief and happiness that he did not lose his imagination.  That really wrenched my heart.  I can’t even imagine what life would be like if I lost my own imagination.  Just as Harper Lee had once written “one does not love breathing” I am sure many artists -myself included- take our imaginations for granted.

Media exposure like a documentary film can be a two-edged sword.  It can help an artist by bringing attention and appreciation to the work being made and/or it can disrupt the creative process or discourage the artist with negative criticism.  I have been following the website since 2010 and it seems to me that sales for the artist had to hit the brakes when interest from the film lead to potential legal problems:

Mark Hogancamp’s photographs are not for sale right now — any revenue he collects from art sales could endanger his disability payments. We are in the midst of setting up a special trust for Mark that, once established, will print editions of his work, collect income from sales, and distribute it to him in a manner that wouldn’t threaten these payments.

If you’re interested in purchasing photographs by Mark please add your name to the list by emailing marwencol@gmail.com with the subject heading “Interest List”. Please include your full name and email address if different from the one you’re writing from.

This will place you on the list of people interested in acquiring work by Mark, and as soon as this trust is in place we can send you a list of available works, edition sizes, and prices.

Thanks so much for your interest!

The are venues to donate money and supplies for Mark Hogancamp to continue his creative activities and continue to tell stories and expand on his imaginary world.

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