Ear Channel & Lion 

Sara Wolfert

(/The Waking of the Sleeping Lion Ear)

BOX presents Sara Wolfert’s mixed media installation Ear Channel & Lion (/The Waking of the Sleeping Lion Ear), a work conceived together with an interest in a copyright court case that ended uniquely and unusually just. At the center of the case stood a song, most commonly known, in declining order, as “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” / “Wimoweh” / “Mbube”. This mega hit (of megalomaniac proportion), that has frequented charts in several disguises throughout the 20th Century, became the subject of scandal when it was revealed (in the early 00’s) that the original author of the song had been erased from all accounts and records of the songs origin. The original author, a man from Soweto, South Africa, had died a poor man in 1962, about the same time that the do-wop band The Tokens released the famous cover The Lion Sleeps Tonight in the U.S. It would take decades of revisions, adaptations, transatlantic transfers, small time controversy and full-on theft, for the truth to be brought into light. When the story was finally told, the injustice was concidered of such symbolic magnitude that it brought an attention and indignation that would ultimately lead to an unusual trial.

To date, the last but not least verdict and formal agreement around the song, or it’s five most signifying chords, was done in 2006.

Sara Wolfert takes this story along a broader storyline, re-interprets it in an installation that centres around multifarious performances. For the opening at BOX, Wolfert invites colleague, fashion designer and friend Tove Berggren to – alongside herself – perform passages by specific characters in “Hamlet – the low end-version” in the installation.

Opening: Friday 11th Januari, 17.00-21.00h

Performance during opening: 19.00h