May Gallery presents The Lost, a multi-channel film installation by Amsterdam-based artist Reynold Reynolds. In this immersive film presentation, viewers are invited to take in the story set in 1930s Berlin, fragmented across multiple screens, and piece together a narrative exploring the blurred lines of reality and fantasy within performance and the effects of authority on alternative lifestyles.
Projected onto 3 large screens within the gallery, The Lost tells the story of a young British writer Christopher who relocates to a Berlin cabaret in the 1930s Nazi Germany. There he discovers that the proprietor, an eccentric old man who takes in young female artists and musicians, performs mysterious experiments on the woman in his makeshift basement laboratory. As the townspeople and local authorities learn of the experiments, Christopher observes the consequences of transgressive activity within a totalitarian society.
The Lost is based on a film production started in the 1930s that was abandoned during the rise of the Nazi regime. Reynolds rediscovered the film material (storyboards, scripts and some completed footage) in 2011 and over the past few years has completed the project. The title of the installation refers specifically to those who suffered within Nazi Germany, and more broadly to those individuals whose stories are deemed inconsequential by mainstream society.
The film is screened with a live musical score based on fragments of pieces from the early 1920s and 1930s by composers such as Franz Schreker, George Antheil and Erwin Schulhoff, arranged by Gerard Bouwhuis and performed by New Orleans musicians.
Reynolds’s work is influenced by philosophy and science. Working primarily with 16mm as an art medium, he has developed a film grammar based on transformation, consumption and decay. Reynolds’s use of symbology and the integration of allusive references create a powerful pictorial language in his work, founded in his analytical point of view. His depiction of people often makes us aware of the limited frames we use to understand reality. By subtly altering the regular conditions of life and watching their effects, he transfers the experimental methods of science to filmmaking, where he frames reality in his artwork and changes one variable at a time to reveal an underlying causality.
The May residency hosts three to four artists or curators each year for between three weeks and three months. Reynolds will spend almost 3 months in New Orleans exhibiting his work, participating in panels and discussions and working towards the completion of an existing piece, 2 Part 7.