🧾 Grocery lists
“Trying to get people’s diet”

︎Observation

︎Analysis

A kind of ritual takes place among everyone who goes to the supermarket or the grocery shop to buy whatever is needed, be it food or materials useful for some household chore.

Regardless of gender, culture or age, every human is wont to pick up any piece of paper where they can write down everything they need and not have to think about it again until they will find themselves in the shopping place.

These are quick memories, often poorly and hastily written, on scraps of the first paper found, receipts or cards, indeed, often the more battered the paper the better.

In fact, that document, if at first essential and well kept in the pocket or wallet, once the shopping is over, completely loses its usefulness and gets thrown, sometimes right on the ground, in front of the supermarket itself.

Yet those cards, now deprived of their primary value, retain a curious definition of a person's needs at a precise moment for a medium/short period of time.

The value of these documents thus becomes extremely ephemeral, as are the memories transcribed in them.

Observing, collecting and analysing these documents allows to ask myself questions that go beyond this ephemeral value, giving me the opportunity to observe and reflect on its utility and social function.



It is interesting to observe how everyone interprets the concept of a 'shopping list' in their own way. There are people who take the time to fill it out, others who write words here and there, incorporating blatant phonetic errors. The 'shopping list' is, in my opinion, an exceptional documentation of the contemporary culture we live in as it is a code and mnemonic methodology used worldwide. Following is a series of shopping lists transcribed in different languages. You can see how, despite the different culture and language, they are always easily identifiable by the same visual pattern.


I wonder what kind of persons threw these grocery list.

How do they look like?
Are they women or men?
Do they have kids?
How do their kitche look like?

The selection of specific foods identify a kind of person and its food habits in that precise time and space.

No grocery list is used twice because different are our needs and desires.

I wonder if these lists could have another chance and what could it be if I would use them again, giving my own interpretation to what I’d buy.



self_else 2022