Mark Hogancamp and David Naugle at {Poem88}

“Hogancamp’s project is undoubtedly a textbook example of outsider art, and enthralls for that genre’s particular reasons—aesthetic innocence, genuine otherness. But even without knowledge of the artist’s life, the photos step beyond neo-kitsch into a realm where child-like transference merges with a dramatic grandeur to create both a feeling of vintage Hollywood artifice and authentic pathos.“ — Michael Atkinson, The Village Voice, October 6, 2010

{Poem88} presents Marwencol: photographs from Mark Hogancamp and David Naugle. In 2000, Mark Hogancamp, a resident of a tiny, upstate New York hamlet, was brutally beaten as the result of a bar room brawl. The victim of a hate crime (Hogancamp is a cross-dresser), he suffered significant brain damage and after completing what government-funded rehabilitation was available, Hogancamp embarked on his own self-prescribed therapy to restore his imagination. In this way, Marwencol, the 1/6 scale Belgian village set in WWII came into being. Using GI Joes and Barbie Dolls as fictitious characters and stand-ins for his own neighbors, Hogancamp sorted through the trauma of his attack carefully documenting in arresting color photographs the daily goings-on in Marwencol. Using a 35mm camera with a broken light meter no less, Hogancamp presents us with uncannily constructed images of war, romance, justice and redemption.

Completely unburdened by the goals of contemporary art, Hogancamp created, on an epic scale, a body of work completely devoid of irony telling his story of violence and recovery not unlike Henry Darger’s drama of the child-warrior Vivian Sisters and their struggles to save and purify the world. David Naugle, a local photographer, after befriending Hogancamp, was welcomed into the unbelievable story that is Marwencol. Naugle immediately recognized the power and genius of Hogancamp’s creation introducing it to friends in the art world and also documenting his own experience.

Through June 25.

1170 Howell Mill Road, suite A03
atlanta, ga 30318

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