Das Kapital - Distillation
Dan Mihaltianu

“Das Kapital – Distillation” is a performative event dedicated to Karl Marx’s work, following the pattern of John Latham’s work “Art and Culture”, 1966-69 (the distillation of Clement Greenberg’s book).

The public is invited to chew pages from “Das Kapital”, after reading and memorizing them and afterwards spitting the pulp into a glass container. The resulting mixture will be distilled in front of the audience and bottled.

Marx’s work is indestructible. All the copies are just paper (for recycling), his real work is of spiritual nature – immaterial (encrypted in the collective memory). By reading and memorizing the pages, each participant becomes a word, a sentence or a chapter of “Das Kapital” and together “Das Buch” (remember Fahrenheit 451). In order to have access to knowledge, we have to dismantle the material form in which ideas are kept prisoners. Symbolically, a book has to be first ingested and afterwards digested (distilled).

The entire process has several layers of understanding and in¬terpretation related to a multitude of aspects, amongst others initiation rituals, liturgical practices, transmission / acquiring of knowledge, intelligence techniques, political activism and artistic labour.