Feb 08, 2024 - Sale 2658

Sale 2658 - Lot 63

Price Realized: $ 5,000
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 4,000 - $ 6,000


Sun Ra In Space is the Place.
Offset lithograph poster. 572x432 mm, 20¾x17 inches. 1974.

Poster for the Afrofuturist science fiction film featuring the experimental jazz musician Sun Ra, a.k.a. Herman Poole Blount (1914-1993) and his Intergalactic Myth-Science Solar Arkestra.

"Space is the Place" is an 82-minute film made in 1972 and released in 1974. It was produced by Jim Newman, directed by John Coney, written by Sun Ra and Joshua Smith and features Sun Ra and his Arkestra. A soundtrack for the film was released on Evidence Records. The plot: Sun Ra, who has been reported lost since his European tour in June 1969, lands on a new planet in outer space with his crew, "The Arkestra," and decides to settle African-Americans on this planet. The medium of transportation he has chosen is music. He travels back in time and returns to the Chicago strip club where he used to play piano under the name "Sonny Ray" in 1943. There he confronts The Overseer (Ray Johnson), a pimp-overlord, and they agree on a duel at cards for the fate of the Black race.

Sun Ra was one of the most innovative jazz musicians of the 20th century. From the mid-1950s to his death, Sun Ra led his "Arkestra," an ensemble with an ever-changing personnel and name. It was by turns called, "The Solar Myth Arkestra," "His Cosmo Discipline Arkestra," the "Blue Universe Arkestra," and many other variations. Sun Ra asserted that the ever-changing name of his ensemble reflected the ever-changing nature of his music and himself. His music ranged from keyboard solos to big bands of over 30 musicians, and employed virtually the entire history of jazz, from ragtime to swing music, from bebop to free jazz. He was also a pioneer of electronic music and electronic keyboards.