Something to declare

13.06.2011                      11.Siwan, 5771                      

Zoll- und Steuerdeklarationen:

Something to declare

Who decides what to define as a work of art and what as a functional object? Not critics, not academic scholars, but customs officials. Designer Eyal Burstein wrote a book about this absurdity.

One day designer Eyal Burstein was asked to submit a proposal for the design of the Camper shoe store in Berlin, where he lives. For that purpose he visited the store, spoke to the salespeople and finally even bought a pair of shoes in order to use them as part of the proposal.

At the end of the month Burstein sent the receipt for the shoes' purchase to his accountant, together with all the receipts and invoices for that month. The accountant refused to register the purchase of the shoes as a tax-deductable expense; only after a prolonged argument did she agree to declare the purchase a loan from the owners of the business. In the end Burstein's proposal for designing the store was not accepted, but this event caused him to delve into the tax laws for design and art, which he had already encountered in the course of his work as a designer who often transfers objects between countries….