Today the refinement of taste determines the luxury industry. However, since the 18th century, the heightening of our senses counted as a premise to an artistic career. Sensitization combined with Dionysian ecstasy by spirits becomes the engine of creative processes.
The Berlin based artist Theo Ligthart, critically reflects with his work 'das Korn - Eine soziale Plastik' as well as his specially developed brand 'das Korn' - a traditional German alcoholic beverage similar to vodka - the processes of the art market.
Theo Ligthart has developed together with a small distillery established 1780 in Brandenburg, Germany a so-called 'Doppelkorn' which distinguishes itself especially by its mild and clean taste. With the bottles, which aesthetically remind us of a mixture of flask and perfume bottle, 'das Korn' creates a connection between art and product. Signed and numbered, a limited edition of 50 pieces, comes in traditional wooden crates made for transporting art objects and is available exclusively. Eventually, 'das Korn' will be sold as a commercial product.
With the work 'das Korn' and its presentation as an art edition, Ligthart questions the rules of the art market. Just the opposite to those manufacturers who try to give prestige to their products by sponsoring exhibitions or art events, here the artwork becomes a commercial product, and the buyer can decide whether to make it part of a collection or just to drink it. The attention, which is ascribed to the art and her presentation, is used therefore, as a marketing strategy. The art object - edition 'das Korn' - becomes a prototype for a future commercial product.
"Time and again, when art tries to break with conventions and thereby finds it self sorted in the shelves of the art-market, it is time to turn pro. Das Korn is a trademark, subverting art's aspirations to autonomy and a marketing strategy, taking hostage the attention art gets. Das Korn, an ultra-pure distillate, calls for a clear decision: do you acquire it for your art collection or your body." (Theo Ligthart)