press release

Peter Friedl’s film King Kong wove together a complex web of histories and affinities. By embracing two specific versions of the King Kong theme, Friedl investigated divergent forms of cultural representation. The first reference in the work was to the song ‘King Kong’, a laconic and fatalistic retelling of the King Kong story, written by US musician Daniel Johnston. As a second reference, Friedl recalled an important and controversial moment in South African cultural history, the 1959 jazz opera ‘King Kong.’ Based on the tragic life of boxing champ Ezekiel ‘King Kong’ Dhlamini, the opera’s story was located in Sophiatown - then the ‘Little Harlem’ of Johannesburg. Friedl’s film depicted Daniel Johnston performing, for the first time in public, his ‘King Kong’ song at a public park in today’s Sophiatown. Peter Friedl (born Austria 1960) has exhibited extensively throughout Europe and the USA. Based in Waller,Texas, Daniel Johnston (born 1961) has released numerous albums and tapes since 1980. His songs have been covered by Cathy McCarty, Yo La Tengo, Half Japanese, Sonic Youth, fIREHOSE, and Pearl Jam. He has contributed to the film soundtracks of Richard Linklater’s Slacker, and to Larry Clark’s Kids. Johnston performed a one-off, sold-out gig at Bar Risa in Bow on the night of King Kong's preview. Pressetext

only in german

Peter Friedl