I need what I buy what I need

At the event “Osim yomit” eight performance artists, curated by Kineret Haya Max, show their durational work during “eight hours of working time” to the public, which is present in the building in the form of customers, clerks and shopkeepers.

A day in a warehouse, no, in a building, named Binjan Klal, which contains several shops and cafés. Built in the 70ties, in the middle of Jerusalem. Unattractive, grey and empty. Why? Who owns the shops? What do they sell? Do they serve me and my needs? In “eight hours working time” I will check out as many shops as I can. To see why they are (still) here and if I can find and buy here things I really need.

1. First of all I meet a guy, who does health checks and offers afterwards a program of fitness in a shop, which is not in the Binjan Klal but somewhere else in Jerusalem. The health check says that I have a bit to much fat in relation to the muscle flesh and that my estimated age is 15 years younger than I am. Good to know. I spent 10 Shekel on this.
2. The next shop I visit is „Boutik Norach“, Lady Tatjana, who repairs and sews on order. I do not have anything to repair, but after explaining my project, she gives me a piece of cloth as a present to me. Result: 0 shekel.
3. Than I visit the shop of Moshe „Aminut ve bitachon“ (reliability and security), where I buy two key chains as presents for my granddaughters. Moshe writes to me at the end of the day a sms: “dinner?” I gave him my business card. Result: 10 Shekel
4. Very sweet is lady “Jaffa” at the shop “Oren Elektonika”, we chat like we are old friends and take some pictures together. They will close the shop very soon, because it is not profitable. She gives me a mini USB-stick as a present, worth 50 Shekel.
5. In the shop “MG Ilana” I buy underwear in the color turquoise. The saleslady is dressed quite orthodox. We do not start a conversation. Result: 14,90
6. The music store “Efekt” could be anywhere. Their clients come from all over the city and the store has been successful since 1988! I buy a capo and a plectrum, since I started to play the guitar again it is a reasonable investment. Result: 18 Shekel
7. At the “Sandlaria Gabriel”, an old and unfriendly shoemaker, I buy some laces. This can always come in handy. Result: 10 Shekel
8. At the shop ”Olam ha chai” (World of the animal) the salesman is fascinated by a video on his smart phone. He completely ignores me. I choose the cheapest cat toy I can find (I will have a cat in the near future) and it takes a lot of effort to get a receipt from him. Result: 4 Shekel
9. At “Atelier Isragold” the old shopkeeper -he repairs watches- also tries to ignore me. I really look for a long time to purchase something here. Finally I see, that they have some earrings in a glass cabinet. I can get the attention of the saleswoman (his daughter or granddaughter?). I bargain and finally I get a pair of earrings for my daughter for 25 Shekel.
10. The shop “Sport international” looks fancy and modern. I try to involve the salesman in a conversation about the shop. He only is willing to have sales talks with me. Subdued I buy a nasal constriction for my swim training back home. Result: 20 Shekel
11. At the copy shop I nearly give up. I am very tired. The conversations until now were mostly exhausting, except for a few refreshing exceptions. The copyshop keeper is very grumpy. I just want to copy the receipts, which I got until now. My desire is not the purpose of the shop, he says. So what are they for? I need A3 copies. Before I can copy I have to stick the receipts to A3 pages, which I do not yet have. Finally I get some A3 papers and prepare them for copying. I am ready for a break. Result: 5 Shekel
12. After the break I have an appointment for pedicure with Chava. She is 66 years old and comes from Lithuania. She opened the store 10 years ago, because she did not expect any pension. She has a permanent clientele, but she has to work a lot herself to earn enough. She works on the nail of my right big toe until it bleeds. I choose violett nail polish. Even she dries it with the hairdryer it smears all over my toes. We have during the treatment a very pleasant conversation, but I am not satisfied with the service. Result: 60 Shekel
13. The shop “Daniel Loson” sells everything for the office. Here I even get a professional receipt for tax declaration. I buy a small notebook. Result: 10 Shekel
14. I am resting on some chairs in front of a toto shop. If I am not consuming anything I have to go, the owner tells me. I get a coke: 10 Shekel
15. At the last floor I continue my visits: sex shop “Daniel - love boutik”. I explain to the salesman, that I want to buy only, what I really need. He tries to help me. Sex toys, fun articles… too expensive and I do not need them. I leave the shop with 3 condoms for 15 Shekel, unsure, if I need them.
16. At “Optika Shai” the saleslady is nice and professional. Even my claim, to sell to me the cheapest thing they do sell in the store does not affect her attitude. I buy a band for glasses, which I might need in the future for my reading glasses. Result: 5 Shekel
17. At the store “Camera” I ask for a lid for my video camera. Because I do not remember the brand I even call a friend to find it out. Finally I buy a picture frame, in which I will present the results of this performance. Result: 25 Shekel
18. The last shop “SexStyle” is the second sex shop in the building. The salesman is nice and we talk about my project. I nearly buy some sweets in the shape of a penis, but I consider, that I do not need them. The salesman tells me: Than you should not buy anything in here. It’s wasted money. He is right. Result: 0 Shekel
19. One more time I visit the grumpy copy shop owner. This time I am well prepared. I arranged all the receipts of the afternoon on a paper and hand this over to him to copy. Result: 5 Shekel

Finally I present my purchases to the public. I benefit indeed from nearly every object. The frame is decorated with the professional receipt of the shop for office supplies.
I give it as a present to the curator Kineret Haya Max.
All together I spent: 241,90 Shekel approx. 60 Euros

Being a consumer is very exhausting. Personally, I hate shopping. Each of the stores is a separate universe. Some of them I cannot grasp. It feels like most of the shops have to be where they are, because they have no other choice. That might be a feeling, what many people have, which do a daily job for to earn money for their subsistence. After the experiences of that day, I am happy to be a self-employed performance artist.
osim yomit - working day
a project by Kineret Haya Max
for 8 artists working 8 hours
at the the building "klal";
Jerusalem, Israel

pics: Dorothea Seror