Arts

How ABC's 'Lost' Inspired a Contemporary Art Exhibition

French and L.A. artists look to the hit TV show as a source of inspiration for a new exhibition on display at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery.
LOST (in LA) installation view
France Los Angeles Exchange (FLAX)

Tucked away in the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery at Barnsdall Park, a new exhibition inspired (loosely) by the hit show Lost — “LOST (in LA)” — is on display.

The show, which just opened, was produced by FLAX (France Los Angeles Exchange) and co-organized with the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs in collaboration with Palais de Tokyo, Paris. It offers 60 artworks from a collection of French and L.A. artists including Jim Shaw, Marnie Weber, Mike Kelley, Robert Watts, Vincent Lamouroux, Laurent Le Deunff, Camille Henrot and Mathieu Mercier.

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Marc-Olivier Wahler, former director of the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, is the curator of the exhibition.

The show aims to bring French and L.A. artists together beyond transcending cultural boundaries. The idea behind it: finding inspiration from and connections in Lost’s notoriously ambiguous plotlines. “Any exhibition is about storytelling, so this is a way of telling a story because it’s about the layers of time and space,” Wahler said. “What I’m very interested in is what binds all these stories, what binds all these layers.”

Like the TV show, the exhibition tells a story of life, death, nature, isolation, time and space. Philippe Mayaux's "Night City," for example, showcases a city engulfed in flames. Robert Kinmont's "My Favorite Dirt Roads," in turn, features a series of desolate dirt roads, completely devoid of people.

The exhibition does not explicitly attempt to provide much-needed answers. It does, however, get viewers thinking about themes that resonate with the TV show.

“The more layers of interpretation that you can add to an artwork, the more dense, the more efficient the artwork becomes,” Wahler said. “I think good artwork can stand, can bear interpretation without losing it’s own identity.”

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Now, whether these artworks succeed at that is up to the viewer.

“LOST (in LA)” will be open for viewing through Jan. 27. The show is debuting an outreach concept along with the exhibition created by David Dao, which allows people to scan the codes on the 3D QR Gallery to receive information about the show and the artists. The 3D QR Gallery will be placed at various locations around Los Angeles. 

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