Lieven Lahaye & Ott Metusala



In the front room of Tallinn City Gallery, the artists have used screen print technique to transfer the extended version of Catalog #24 on the walls. The essay Coverage, central to the artwork, commences with Lieven Lahaye’s Google search for the phrase “baxter box”.

Baxter International Inc. is a multinational pharmaceutical company that provides intravenous drip bags in such boxes. Medical professionals and home care patients frequently repurpose empty boxes to store various items. Given that Lieven’s parents are nurses, these boxes were commonplace in their household.

We have probably all googled our own name or that of someone we know at least once in our lives. Lieven’s first search results show interior photos from real estate advertisements, showcasing exactly the same type of boxes. While for many who have seen these photos before him, these are merely random boxes in random images, for him, it signifies that he is not alone. There are others like him!

Among other aspects, Coverage makes reference to David Weinberger’s levels of organisation. The first level encompasses objects stored in boxes, while the second level involves lists or catalogs of these objects. The third level includes the boundless information associated with these objects. My thoughts first turn to archive boxes I have opened or moved from one place to another, and then to my own clutter boxes. Both contain various items, such as correspondence, mementos, artworks or other objects. Archive boxes are designated for preservation, but what about the others? What are the chances that someone searching for the phrase “Chiquita box” will one day stumble upon a photo of an item stored in one of my banana boxes on the internet?