Matthias Einhoff and Markus Lohmann - White cube
Sky Limit Project, November 2008
In their piece ‘White Cube’, Markus Lohmann and Matthias Einhoff question the white cube as a significant stereotype of their cultural background by utilizing a different stereotype known from industrial production: product piracy.
Situated in the Sky Limit Walled City indoor platform in Lahore’s main trading district, Lohmann and Einhoff finish the interior construction of that floor by installing the cliché of a western European gallery from the turn of the millennium: grey floor, white walls, a desk made from exposed concrete with a white Apple Notebook on top. In the background the lounge music classic “La Femme D'Argent” by Air can be heard, whilst people enjoy a bottle of Becks beer.
All these artefacts are manufactured by local craftsmen and with regionally available materials from the old part of town, using the technical skills usually applied in duplication: beer bottles made from casting resin with hand-painted product labels, an exposed concrete-look-a-like table printed on foil, a Notebook made from white marble, and two musicians from Lahore presenting their interpretation of the Air song with Tablas and drums.
Within the context of a staged gallery, this perfect imitation of western goods by Pakistani craftsmanship represents a distorted version of the antique notion of Mimesis as the prototype of artistic expression.
By staging this pseudo-gallery in the context of Sky Limit project space, Lohmann and Einhoff question their possibilities as artists to actually intervene in public space without colonizing or applying preconceptions of foreign or exotic. Rather than commenting on this unfamiliar culture, they opt instead to draw attention towards this conserved form of western bourgeois representation and develop a fresh starting point for a candid look outside.