Richard Kern

Filmmaker Richard Kern in David Wojnarowicz's "You Killed Me First Installation #8," December 1985, Ground Zero Gallery. Contact sheet from The David Wojnarowicz Papers courtesy The Downtown Collection Fales Library and Special Collections, New York University.

Filmmaker Richard Kern in David Wojnarowicz’s “You Killed Me First Installation #8,” December 1986, Ground Zero Gallery. Contact sheet from The David Wojnarowicz Papers courtesy The Downtown Collection Fales Library and Special Collections, New York University.

Underground photographer and filmmaker Richard Kern was part of the early 1980s ‘Cinema of Transgression’ movement exploring the aesthetics of extreme violence for shock value. 

Kern crossed paths with David Wojnarowicz in the 1980s—introduced by mutual friend Tommy Turner at the Peppermint Lounge. 

David acted in Kern’s film “Stray Dogs” from Kern’s series The Manhattan Love Suicides, 1984. And they collaborated on Kern’s film You Killed Me First, 1985, which was integral to David’s “You Killed Me First Installation #8”  shown at Ground Zero Gallery in 1986.  

Richard Kern shares more memories of his collaborations with David in the audio clips below.

Interview excerpts appear courtesy of The Artist Archives Initiative’s David Wojnarowicz Knowledge Base.