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To the Prurient Interest, Volume II

By R.C. Hörsch

(Art-Photo Book, softcover and eBook versions, sewn binding, laminated cover, ISBN 9780972-973117, 20x30 cm, 120 pages, 96 images) 

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Art & Dysfunction

While psychological disorders aren’t a pre-requisite for artistic genius, it’s nevertheless remarkable how many artistic personalities seem to be possessed of what used to be deemed “divine madness” — or as we label it in today’s savvy psycho-babble lingo, “dysfunction.”

In the case of R. C. Hörsch, this primordial artistic stew gets very, very thick. His artistic muse obsesses about sex. And more often than not these days, about extreme sadomasochistic sex.

As the years have marched on, after over four decades of artistic pursuits that have included filmmaker, writer, composer, and all-out sociopath, the art of R. C. Hörsch has “devolved” to his current oeuvre: a relentless assault on our sexual icons, fetishes and taboos, usually in living color. Where Van Gogh, in a state of psychotic despair over his muse and his art, sliced off his own ear, Hörsch instead metaphorically (and perhaps literally) slices up his very models.

Beginning in the previous volume with the more mainstream images of bondage and submissive poses, and culminating in this volume with blood, bruises, barbed wire, autopsies, and asphyxiation, Hörsch has taken the idea of the dysfunctional artistic “divine madness” one step further by creating not only a dysfunctional relationship between the artist and his models, but one between the artist and his audience, as well — to the point where he appears to have raised dysfunction itself to a fine art.

He justifies his near psychotic excess by stating that sex is his only artistic muse because “sex is the crucible of our existence” and continues by insisting that the “sexual denial and suppression associated with the Puritan ethic, not pornography, is the root cause of rape and sexual violence.”

“Pornography is the great diffuser,” he says. “It’s healthy and cleansing. People who repress their sexuality are the true perverts as far as I’m concerned.” But prehaps we should ask him exactly where his depictions of degredation and abuse fit into this lofty rationalization.

— Marilyn Jaye Lewis


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