The Museum of the Lost and Found by Olivia Shortt



An Anishinaabe, Nipissing First Nation Canadian based artist, Olivia's piece explores all things lost and found and brings attention to the ongoing tragedy of missing and murdered indigenous women, girls and Two-Spirited people.

 

'The Museum of the Lost and Found: gaakaazootaadiwag (a Micro-Opera)' by Olivia Shortt

Commissioner: Anonymous

Violin: Aliayta Foon-Dancoes

Cello: Isidora Nojkovic

Soprano: Alexandra Smither

Assistant/Crew: Emily Gibbs, Austin Lewellen, Sarah McCabe

A/V Editor: Olivia Shortt

Locations: Vancouver, Canada; London, England; Houston, USA

 

Text:

Oh, hi there!

Welcome to the Museum of the Lost and Found.

I will be your tour guide today.

My name is Johanna Mary O'Sullivan but you can call me Jo.

 

I've worked here at the Museum for almost thirty years.

CAN I HAVE EVERYONE'S ATTENTION, PLEASE!

 

Alright now, make sure to keep your devices turned on, your headphones in and the volume up.

Stay with your tour guide or you might become part of the exhibit.

We're already at our first exhibit.

If you look to your left, you'll see the first artifact on our tour.

Every tour is a little bit different so stay focused or we might lose you.

Maybe you'll become part of the museum as an exhibit?

HAHA, I'm just joking. I think? Hopefully.

 

My name is Andria, My name is Annette. My name is Angel. Angela, Angela, Angela, Angeline.

My name is

19 years old and missing since '74

 

Oh, I don't think that was supposed to happen...

Probably just a glitch in the system.

I wouldn't worry about it.

 

Now, have any of you ever worked in an office?

or customer service, or some job

 

where you might have a place in the backroom?

 

YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN?

 

Here we are, every hour, on the hour

For the news that matters most

What’s going to happen next?

Will any of us be here?

Tune in at five.

Help!

 

Now, have any of you ever worked in an office?

where you might have a place in the backroom?

or customer service, or some job

where you might have a place in the backroom?

 

Oh my, I don't think that was supposed to happen.

Probably just a glitch in the system.

YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN?

 

It’s the place where we collect lost items left behind by people.

Some of those items are never reclaimed.

Some of those items are never reclaimed.

It’s the place where we collect lost items left behind by people.

 

The Museum of The Lost and Found has been operating here on this land

on this land since time immemorial.

The first person to leave

first person to leave a footprint behind them also left a small

also left a small trinket - silver in colour, small in diameter and would’ve gone

would’ve gone unnoticed except that the sun caught the item’s reflection and attracted

and attracted the eyes of a magpie.

 

That magpie collected the first artifact to become part of the museum’s original collection.

Magpies are known for stealing shiny things

but that is a lie and myth spread by weasels

You can’t trust weasels.

and attracted the eyes of a magpie.

Probably just a glitch in the system.

You can’t trust weasels

but that is a lie and myth spread by weasels

Magpies are known for stealing shiny things

and attracted the eyes of a magpie

Probably just a glitch in the system

You can’t trust weasels but that is a lie and myth spread by weasels

Magpies are known for stealing shiny things

 

Do you ever get those headaches where your memories are blurry or fuzzy or don't even feel like your own?

 

It's as if you're looking at the television screen but it has shifted into pixelated gray, white, and black specks. These specks overwhelm your vision and you can't see anything but that.

Sometimes it's all-consuming but then you realize the green screen isn't working and the real world keeps peeking through.

Memory is sometimes like that.

The past won't stop flickering in and out of present-day-you to the point where you know you're not ready to look at the hole in the door.

 

Are you lost? Who are you? How did we get here? Take me back.



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This activity is supported in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency. Learn more at cac.ca.gov
Supported in part by a grant from the Arts Council for Long Beach and the City of Long Beach.
Long Beach Opera events are supported, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission