Winter cleaning always means unexpected gifts of things you forgot you owned. While going through a stack of books, trying to figure out what was garbage and what was not, a curious item popped up: a thick black-and-white magazine with bold visuals and a decidedly abstract approach to displaying information. It was confusing and attractive and did not attempt to align itself with anything else but itself. It is a very powerful individual statement that I could not trace to anything. I assumed it was a gift or maybe something I picked up from a book store–but it was just so alien. Then–Aha!–a postcard with a familiar flower poked out of it: this must be from the odd and enveloping Lost (In LA) show that is currently on view at Barnsdall.
After a quick search online, it was revealed that this beefy magazine is The LOST Issue, also known as the catalogue for the Barnsdall show. It was made by Marc-Olivier Wahler and “is a fiction, a story, using narrative devices to reflect the topics addressed by the exhibition in space.” As it is described to be on the site, the book–like the show–“is a mirror.” Yes, it definitely is that because this book, just like the show, is confusing and often more perplexing since the images are rearranged, stacked atop of each other, remixed, and made to look like found post-modern fragments. Texts attempt to unite them (and it does) but you feel like you have found a bound dossier left behind by a brilliant but doomed society.
Is that society us in Los Angeles? Is it those in the fictional world of the show? Is it the world at large? The answer is exactly where you think it would be: lost. But, damn, does it look great. The catalogue is available for $20 plus shipping and is a storm through the show.
Refinding this catalogue was a reminder of how great and odd the show it is associated is. You really should visit the show and take a peek into this book in an attempt to piece together the world of LOST and Lost (in LA). The show is dense and full of curious experiments. You’ll be picking morsels of it out of your teeth for weeks. You have until January 27 to see it in person: we recommend it in addition to The LOST Issue. You will undoubtedly surprise yourself with what you’ll see (and not see) in them.