Story and All Photos By Gail Worley
When you think of the concept of Retrofuturism –an exploration of past visions of the future — this five-sided, console Television set might fit in perfectly.
As an artwork entitled Out / Side Of Time, the TV set plays a six-minute, five-channel digital video, as part of the recently opened installation, Before Yesterday We Could Fly: An Afrofuturist Period Room at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Although the installation includes just two rooms — a kitchen an a living room, –they are quite jam-packed with items, as you can see from the photo above. The informative blurb below was taken directly from the museum’s website.
Living Room and Television
If the imagined residents of this house acquired works of art from across space and time, what might they choose? The group of objects assembled here — selected as physical markers of the Black imagination — is only one of countless possible answers to this question.
Just as a monumental hearth is at the center of the kitchen’s activities, a five-sided television marks this more futuristic space as a source of information, inspiration, and connection to the multiple pasts, presents, and futures from which these objects might have been collected.
This kaleidoscopic device is an homage to the console televisions of the mid-twentieth century, which beamed so many monumental events into the home and served as a locus of storytelling and family life. It broadcasts a new work made especially for the room by Jenn Nkiru, a British-born filmmaker of Nigerian descent. Her videos celebrate the vibrant creativity and speculative vision of the African diaspora while exploring what she calls “cosmic archaeology,” a potentially mystical connection to history through visual memory.
Photographed in Gallery 508 of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.