R. C. Hörsch

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R. C. Hörsch circa 1999
R C Horsch circa 2014

R. C. Hörsch (also R. C. Horsch or Raymond Charles Hoersch) (born 1943) is an American photographer, filmmaker, writer, sculptor and musician known for controversial work that blurs the distinction between art and pornography. He is also known for his sociopathic tendencies and sado-masochistic lifestyle. His fifty-year body of work is diverse and ranges from quietly poetic to explicit and disturbing.[1] He is cited academically, along with Hans Bellmer and Robert Maplethorpe, as an example of an artist whose transgressive work is, nevertheless, unequivocally art.[2] Criticism of his work both praises his authenticity, sensitivity and masterful technique[3][4] and condemns the exploitation of his subjects[5][6]

Birth[edit]

Official records list his birth name as Raymond Charles Hoersch and his birth date as 5 May 1943 in East Stroudsburg, Monroe County, Pennsylvania.[7] However, baptismal and U.S. Department of Justice records place the year as early as 1933.[8]

Criminal history[edit]

During the Viet Nam era, Hörsch was a draft dodger and army deserter who was granted amnesty and later pardon under mass issuances of such by Gerald Ford in 1974 and Jimmy Carter in 1977. His criminal history includes multiple counts of forgery (1972-1975), counterfeiting (1974), manufacturing controlled substance (1977), fugitive from justice (1977-1984), assault of security officer(s) (1997) and large-scale growing of marijuana (2009). He was suspected of (but never charged with)[9][10] the smuggling of large amounts of marijuana into the United States from Mexico (1967-1971) and the wholesale manufacture of chemically pure methamphetamine (1977-1979). Charges of simple assault (2001), theft (2003) and sexual offenses (2009) were subsequently dismissed or nol prossed. He served three Federal prison sentences: 1975-1976, 1984-1989 and 2009-2013. He was released from custody on June 23, 2013.[11]

Psychological history[edit]

Hörsch has been tested with a Stanford-Binet range of 145-160. Psychological and psychiatric evaluations conducted by the United States Third District Federal Court in 1985 diagnosed bipolar disorder, severe clinical depression and characterological disorder with sociopathic, paranoid and active schizophrenic psychosis features.[11]

Career[edit]

In the 1960s, after briefly trying marriage and pursuits in engineering and computer science, Hörsch began working in film and became known for his expertise in directing small children for television commercials. Simultaneously, he started a career as a still photographer but supplemented his income as an art forger specializing in Picasso etchings. Then, when his Viet Nam era draft deferments ran out in 1968, he began a seven-year stint as an army deserter that was ultimately resolved by mass presidential amnesty. For several years during this decade, he fed both his love of airplanes and his adrenaline addiction by flying bales of marijuana into the U.S. from Mexico.[citation needed] On a freelance basis, he made many live action clips for the Children's Television Workshop ("Sesame Street") during its pioneering first year (1969)[citation needed] but he is perhaps best known for his magazine photo layouts which juxtaposed high fashion models and "skid row" escorts.

In the early 1970s he directed television commercials in addition to producing and directing theatrical pornographic films like the 1973 cult classic The Erotic Memoirs of a Male Chauvinist Pig which starred Georgina Spelvin (known for her work in Devil in Miss Jones).[12][13] Also during this period, he began a career as a porn performer by doubling for Harry Reems after a "splash" (ejaculation) shot was lost to a camera film jam. This career, spanning over forty years, continued until 2006 with regular appearances in Pleasure Productions' Streets of New York and Taxi Tales public sex series and other films.[14][15][16][17][18][19][20]

Counterfeiting $10 bills landed him in Federal prison in 1974. Then in 1976, an indictment for the manufacture of Federally controlled substances marked the beginning of eight years as an international fugitive. He lived mostly in New Zealand and Australia during those years[11] but somehow managed to fly a Bede BD-5 micro-jet aircraft in various U.S. air shows, boldly appearing on ABC's Wide World of Sports during the 1980 Reno Air Races.[21]

His artistic career resumed in earnest shortly after completing his second Federal prison term and then, beginning in the 1990s, his steadily growing body of work began attracting international attention with major one-man exhibitions in New York, Rome, Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

In 1993, he produced and directed a series of groundbreaking, couples oriented, erotic documentaries entitled Lovers: an Intimate Portrait for Candida Royalle's woman-owned Femme Distribution Company. In 2003, he completed a controversial and disturbing quasi-documentary about artistic obsession, dysfunction, sexual abuse and degradation entitled, Slaves. In 2006 he finished another controversial experimental film project about a psychopathic killer and his victim entitled, Snuff! And in 2008 he finished a feature documentary about political activist and porn star Nina Hartley and the emerging pro-sex feminist movement entitled Nina.

During the first decade of this century, his images have increasingly reflected his focus on the darker aspects of humanity. In 2009, as his artistic career was gaining momentum, he was again arrested, this time for growing medical marijuana, and served another four years in Federal prison.

He was released in June 2013, immediately publishing three novels and a collection of short stories and continuing his obsessive fifteen-year photographic exploration of heroin-addicted prostitutes.[4][5][22] A two-part minimalist exhibition of approximately 200 of these images was presented June 2014 in his home town of Philadelphia.[4][5][22] His self-described magnum opus, Deleted Scenes, a deeply psychological horror film, was completed in 2016. Continuing his obsession with human sexuality, in March 2018, he completed an intense, searing documentary about an intelligent, articulate, suicidal, drug addicted prostitute entitled, Whore!.

Feature films[edit]

  • The Erotic Memoir of Edmund Bernard Satterthwaite, IV; A Male Chauvinist Pig, Cinema Menteur, 1973, released by Mature Films Enterrprises, 1973, re-mastered and re-released 2013 by Distribpix, Inc.[12][13]
  • Miss Terry Takes a Liberty, Cinema Menteur, 1973, released by Mature Films Enterprises, 1974
  • Lovers, An intimate Portrait, vol 1: Sydney and Ray, Cinema Menteur, 1994, released by Femme Distribution, Inc., 1994
  • Lovers, An Intimate Portrait, vol 2: Jennifer and Steve, Cinema Menteur, 1994, released by Femme Distribution, Inc., 1994
  • Slaves, Cinema Menteur, 2003, released by IMC / Eroto~, 2003[23][24]
  • Snuff!, Cinema Menteur, 2006, released by IMC / Eroto~, 2006
  • Nina, Cinema Menteur, 1998-2008, released by IMC / Eroto~ 2008[25][26]
  • Deleted Scenes, a serial killer's video journal, Cinema Menteur, 2004-2016, released by IMC / Eroto~ 2016[27]
  • Whore, an intimate and intense portrait of a marginalized human being, Cinema Meteur, 2018, released by IMC / Eroto~ 2018[28]

Major exhibitions[edit]

  • Sex, Neikrug Photografika, 224 E 68th Street, 10021, Wed-Sat 1-5, Sept[1][29]
  • To the Prurient Interest, Las Vegas, NV, 2004, Los Angeles, CA, 2004[30][31][32]
  • Body and Mind, Los Angeles,CA (2005), Rome, 2005[33][34][35]
  • Retrospective, Philadelphia, PA, 2014[4][5][22]
  • Transgressions, Philadelphia, PA, 2014[4][5][22]

Books[edit]

  • The Home and Farm Manual for the Production of Alcohol Fuels, Stephen W. Mathewson (pen name), 10-Speed Press, Berkeley, CA, First edition January 1, 1980, ISBN 978-0898150308
  • Eroto~ To the Prurient Interest, vol. 1, R.C. Hörsch, IMC/Eroto~, Philadelphia, PA, 1st edition August 1, 2003, ISBN 9780972973106
  • Eroto~ To the Prurient Interest, vol. 2, R.C. Hörsch, IMC/Eroto~, Philadelphia, PA, 1st edition August 1, 2003, ISBN 978-0972973113
  • Empathy: The Memoir of an Empathetic Serial Killer,' R.C. Hörsch, IMC/Eroto~, Philadelphia, PA, 1st edition Mar 3, 2014, ISBN 978-1492890553
  • Annie, R.C. Hörsch and M. Anna Ferkuniak, IMC/Eroto~, Philadelphia, PA, 1st edition Mar 3, 2014, ISBN 978-1492971054
  • Transgressions, R.C. Hörsch, IMC/Eroto~, Philadelphia, PA, 1st edition Mar 3, 2014, ISBN 978-1493512454
  • Slaves, R.C. Hörsch, IMC/Eroto~, Philadelphia, PA, 1st edition Mar 3, 2014, ISBN 978-1492177180

Anthologies[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Sex, by John Spayde, Utne Reader, September–October 1994, p24-25
  2. ^ Hans Maes (2009). "Who Says Pornography Can't Be Art?". Art and Pornography: Philosophical Essays. Oxford: Oxford University Press: 26–27.
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ a b c d e "Ray Horsch's Transgressions at The Papermill (NSFW)". Artblog. Retrieved 2016-06-26.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Naked prostitutes and heroin: Is the R.C. Horsch exhibit in Kensington art or porn — or a catalog of victims? :: Blogs :: The Naked City :: Philadelphia City Paper". Citypaper.net. Retrieved 2016-06-26.
  6. ^ "Health & Fitness Magazine | Workout Mix". Bizarremag.com. Retrieved 2016-06-26.
  7. ^ Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Vital Records, File No. 078583-1943
  8. ^ Record of Baptism, St. John's Lutheran Church, 9 N 9th Street, Stroudsburg, PA
  9. ^ Federal Statute of Limitations in Title 18, USC
  10. ^ U.S. Const. Amends. V, VI and XIV
  11. ^ a b c Presentence Investigation Report, Docket No. 09-00794-01, prepared by Brett A. White, U.S. Probation Officer, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, March 7, 2011
  12. ^ a b "The Erotic Memoirs of a Male Chauvinist Pig (1973)". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2016-06-26.
  13. ^ a b "Ray Horsch: Sociopathic Villain". The Rialto Report. Retrieved 2016-06-26.
  14. ^ "streets of new york 10 - iafd.com - internet adult film database". Iafd.com. Retrieved 2016-06-26.
  15. ^ "streets of new york 11 - iafd.com - internet adult film database". Iafd.com. Retrieved 2016-06-26.
  16. ^ "streets of new york 6 - iafd.com - internet adult film database". Iafd.com. Retrieved 2016-06-26.
  17. ^ "streets of new york 7 - iafd.com - internet adult film database". Iafd.com. Retrieved 2016-06-26.
  18. ^ "streets of new york 8 - iafd.com - internet adult film database". Iafd.com. Retrieved 2016-06-26.
  19. ^ "streets of new york 9 - iafd.com - internet adult film database". Iafd.com. Retrieved 2016-06-26.
  20. ^ "new york taxi tales 7 - iafd.com - internet adult film database". Iafd.com. Retrieved 2016-06-26.
  21. ^ Reno '80, Reno Air Racing Association, 175 West Moana Lane, Reno, NV 89509, 1980, p58 (Sept 12,13,14 1980)
  22. ^ "Yahoo! Groups". Groups.yahoo.com. 2003-01-29. Retrieved 2016-06-26.
  23. ^ "NYC: This Fri 5/13 Screening of "Slaves"". Collarchat.com. Retrieved 2016-06-26.
  24. ^ Fishtown.US - Philadelphia, PA. "Philadelphia Independent Film Festival at Liberties Walk | Fishtown.US - Philadelphia, PA". Fishtown.US. Retrieved 2016-06-26.
  25. ^ "AVN - Presenting: Nina". Business.avn.com. 2008-05-06. Retrieved 2016-06-26.
  26. ^ name="Deleted Scenes">"Deleted Scenes, a serial killer's video journal".
  27. ^ name="Whore, an intimate and intense portrait of a marginalized human being">"Whore, an intimate and intense portrait".
  28. ^ Photography in New York, 64 West 89th Street, New York, NY, 10024, September/October 1994, Volume 7, Number 1, Listing #106
  29. ^ Fighting the Anesthetic: Foreplay with R. C. Hörsch, A. D. Coleman, in To the Prurient Interest, Volume I, 2003
  30. ^ Metaphysics Through the Skin: R.C. Hörsch’s Theater of Erotic Cruelty, A. D. Coleman, in To the Prurient Interest, Volume II, 2003
  31. ^ "News Commentary « Photocritic International". Nearbycafe.com. Retrieved 2016-06-26.
  32. ^ LA Exposed, Los Angeles Convention Center, 1201 S. Figueroa Street Los Angeles, CA 90015, June 10–12, 2005
  33. ^ "Le provocazioni erotiche di R.C. Horsch. A Roma, da Mondo Bizzarro". Exibart.com. Retrieved 2016-06-26.
  34. ^ "R. C. Horsch Mondo Bizzarro Gallery Bologna". Undo.net. Retrieved 2016-06-26.

External links[edit]