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11 May 2021

Virtual Insights: The Imagined Worlds of Marwencol with Jon Ronson and Mark Hogancamp

Noted Journalist, screenwriter, and best-selling author Jon Ronson joins exhibition curator Valérie Rousseau to explore self-taught artist Mark Hogancamp’s unique photographic practice and documentation of Marwencol, a miniature, hand-built fantasy world filled with World War II narratives and populated by dolls constructed by Hogancamp in his backyard in upstate New York. Ronson interviewed the artist in 2015 for the Guardian and revisits this inspiring story of overcoming trauma to develop a creative process that combines the visual language of film stills, action photography, and dioramas. Hogancamp joins the conversation to discuss his latest work.

Space is limited; advance registration is required. Please consider making a donation when you register to support ongoing virtual programming.

Instructions for joining with a Zoom link and password will be provided by email upon registration confirmation under “Additional Information.” Closed captioning will be provided in English. For questions or to request accessibility accommodations, please email

Jon Ronson’s nonfiction books include So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, The Psychopath Test, Them: Adventures with Extremists, Lost at Sea, and The Men Who Stare At Goats. They have all been international and/or New York Times bestsellers. His screenplays include Okja (Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal), which he co-wrote with Bong-Joon Ho, and Frank (Michael Fassbender, Maggie Gyllenhaal). He lives in New York and is a regular contributor to This American Life.

Valérie Rousseau is Senior Curator of Self-Taught Art and Art Brut at the American Folk Art Museum. Since 2013, she has curated exhibitions on artists from various countries, including the AAMC’s award-winning When the Curtain Never Comes Down on performance art (2015), Art Brut in America: The Incursion of Jean Dubuffet (2015), and shows on Paa Joe (2019), William Van Genk (2014), Bill Traylor (2013), art brut photography (2019, 2021), and self-taught literature (2018). Rousseau holds a Ph.D. in art history from Université du Québec à Montréal and an MA in anthropology from École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris. She has authored various essays on arts emerging outside the art mainstream, from an international perspective, notably “Visionary Architectures” (The Alternative Guide to the Universe, Hayward Gallery, 2013), “Revealing Art Brut” (Culture & Musées, 2010), and Vestiges de l’indiscipline (Canadian Museum of Civilization, 2007).


Images: Photo of Jon Ronson by Emli Bendixen and Photo of Mark Hogancamp courtesy of the artist and One Mile Gallery.

1:00 – 2:15 p.m. ET

Online; free with registration