Local heroes: Von Roháč

An interplay of opposites harmoniously interwoven with each other, Von Roháč, like his poetry, opens with a seeming roughness only to surprise you with his tender soul.

Text by Gabriela Holesova

Under the pseudonym Von Roháč, the Czech poet, artist and porn actor constructs raw and bold images, be it in your mind when reading his poems or through his illustrations accompanying his words. The colloquial language of his writings works as an antipole to their ultimate expression: reflections of tenderness and romance yet as if told by a broken heart glued together with bits of dirt. Von Roháč strips down all the embellishments to reveal nothing but the innermost essence of it all – a sequence of blunt visions that cut to the marrow of your bones.
 

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Your works are all very expressive – is there anything at all that you tend to steer away from?
I always focus on the things that interest me the most. The body, the expression, the feeling or the mood in a certain moment. I wouldn’t say I’m steering myself away from things; if they don’t interest me, I just don’t reflect them in my art anyhow.

 

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Has your career as a porn actor changed your poetry or illustrations in any way?

I don’t think it has. I have always been a very sexual person and I have a very strong sex drive. When I was a teenager and I started to write poetry and to draw – the process was more about depicting the inner world – trying to express what was happening inside of me but I guess that’s quite normal for someone who is growing up and trying to find their way in life. But the essence of trying to depict the inner world hasn’t vanished. It has just shifted to different topics and sexuality is one of them.

 

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Do you find yourself writing your pieces impulsively following sudden strikes of inspiration or is it usually a lengthy process?
It has never been a process of long thinking and elaborating. On the contrary – it’s growing in me quite unconsciously until the moment I feel the need to sit down and write down the words on the paper. Sometimes, I make changes to it after a period of time passes. I remember we have been told during the literary courses back at the university that it’s good to write something every day. It doesn’t really need to be anything important or useful. But I actually never followed that rule, I find it tiresome and counter-inspirational. What might help is to write down notes, sudden hits of memories about something that happened or a stream of feelings – such material could be helpful later on to create an inspirational atmosphere.

 

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Do you perceive your body as a form of expression by itself or just a medium? Have your views on it changed throughout your career?
I feel like my body lives on its own sometimes. Attracting all kinds of attention while I’m not even perceiving it or bothering myself to do so. Of course I might seem a bit obsessed with my body and I can’t hide certain narcissistic attributes. I guess that all the years in the movies and all the adoration coming with it – it has done its job, haha. Of course I’m partly joking but the truth is I have always seen my body as something important that I cherish. It doesn’t really matter if it has changed during the years, someone might say even dramatically.

 

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Would you describe your poems rather as lyrical elaborations on certain feelings or as more explicit depictions of actual situations?
It’s a mix of both. For example my first poem book ‘Nočňátko a smrtihlav’ – it’s basically an anthology – the poems we have chosen for this debut are from a much greater timespan than the second poem book. The first book is more lyrical but there are also depictions of situations. The second book, Zasněnec, was written in a shorter period of time, it has a bigger ambition to tell a story. As one of the critics said about my work: “His poetry often depicts things in a rough way alongside with a very romantic language.”. And I couldn’t agree more. It can also be said about my whole character.

 

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Von Roháč: Website, Facebook, Instagram
Text: Gabriela Holesova

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