Day 37 – June 11th – Man Shoes

Man Shoes

I just watched the documentary Marwencol. Really great film – I recommend watching it (you can currently get it on Netflix instant watch).

“Marwencol” is a documentary about the fantasy world of Mark Hogancamp.
After being beaten into a brain-damaging coma by five men outside a bar, Mark builds a 1/6th scale World War II-era town in his backyard. Playing in the town and photographing the action helps Mark to recover his hand-eye coordination and deal with the psychic wounds of the attack. When Mark and his photographs are discovered, a prestigious New York gallery sets up an art show. Suddenly Mark’s homemade therapy is deemed “art”, forcing him to choose between the safety of his fantasy life in Marwencol and the real world that he’s avoided since the attack.
The men who attacked Mark did so because Mark identifies as a cross dresser. Mostly, he loves women’s shoes. At one point in the film, Mark goes to a gallery opening of his work and feels pressured to wear “man shoes” instead of the high heals he would rather wear. In what I think is one of the best lines of the movie, Mark just looks down and says, disapprovingly, ” … fucking man shoes…”
It is really interesting to me that, although Mark lost all memory of who he was and all that came before the attack, his love for women’s shoes stays constant. This story is a beautiful reminder that we are who we are, that is all we need to be, and no one has the right to judge that.

 

Check out Steve Ersinghaus’ fantastic poem “Man Shoes” that branches off from this post.

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  1. Posted June 14, 2011 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

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    I have been influenced by the "100 day challenge", or the "100 days of summer" that creative people continually participate in. In such a project, an artist, photographer, videographer, writer, etc. will create one thing everyday for 100 days in a row. This summer, I have decided to launch my own creative challenge that draws from this premise. I have sent out requests for addresses of all the people who are important to my life in one way or another. Instead of choosing an arbitrary number, such as 100, I have decided to make something creative everyday for as many days as there are addresses of people who have influenced my life, and in turn, influenced my art. Each day I will make something new and different and, at random, pull one of these names from a box. The item for the day will be mailed to that person. If they choose to participate in this collaborative project, I ask that they change, alter, add to, or respond to the item I have sent in any way they like. Each day I will photograph and post the item to be mailed out. When I receive them back, I will update that day’s post with a photo of the finished collaborative piece. The thumbnail for posts that have been updated will show a red triangle in the top right corner.

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