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The Fondation Martell in Cognac inaugurates its first exhibition spaces
L'Ombre de la vapeur. Fondation d'entreprise Martell © Adrien M & Claire B.

COGNAC.- The Fondation d’entreprise Martell opened its building’s ground floor to the public on June 30th 2018, a large space of around 900 sqm devoted to displaying immersive installations and innovative artistic projects specially designed for the site.

The inaugural installation has been entrusted to Adrien M & Claire B, which unveiled an innovative, original piece called: L’ombre de la vapeur.

This immersive insight into their poetic, digital world seeks to pay tribute both to the memory of the Foundation’s building as well as to the black fungus Baudoinia compniacensis, also named Torula. Before the Foundation completed its renovation work, the building was plastered with this fungus. Inspired by an animist fiction, Claire Bardainne and Adrien Mondot’s piece uses digital technology to reveal “the shadow of the vapor”.

It is a work of art, a space, an immersive experiment and an encounter with a magical and expressive organic entity. Visitors will wander around and interact amid a wide variety of shapes made of thin metal veil, clouds hanging overhead onto which white moving particles will be projected, accompanied by a uniting original music.

Shine a Light by Nathalie Talec
First production of furniture commissions by artists, designers and artisans, this luminous and phantasmagoric work greets the Fondation’s visitors.

This never-before-exhibited creation is produced in collaboration with the CRAFT from Limoges: Shine a Light is a luminous monumental sculpture. It is inspired by antique vases: at once functional, ornamental and composite. Zoomorphic, the vases are constituted of a cylindrical base and an extremity shaped like an animal or human head, real or fantastical, ornamenting the ceiling light. These precious objects reflect the tastes of these dignitaries of antiques, namely the splendid and luxurious tableware that is both utilitarian and decorative. The luminous sculpture is composed of an accumulation of forms and figures, using at once ceramics (presented in the artist's work for years) and glass.

The use of ceramics and this décor, the mix of naif and fanciful figurative motifs, enriches the practice of artist Nathalie Talec. Here they illuminate and enhance the entrance of the Foundation.

The Fondation d'entreprise Martell
Launched in October 2016 and directed by Nathalie Viot since 1st January 2017, the Fondation d’entreprise Martell offers a rich and varied programme of events promoting local, national and international collaborations. Envisioned as a cultural and creative ecosystem, the Foundation aims to reflect the diversity of contemporary creation and reveal outstanding talent and savoir-faire.

Embodied by the uniquely modern-looking Gâtebourse Building located at the heart of Cognac, the Fondation d’entreprise Martell will soon cover an area of almost 5,000 sqm, incorporating different spaces which it will gradually open to the public in phases. The entirety of this area is expected to open by 2020/2021. The Foundation encourages curiosity and openness across a variety of different fields and provides people with the opportunity to experience new kinds of artistic production and ground-breaking research, while facilitating exchange between a diverse range of disciplines (crafts, design, architecture, artisan trades, olfaction, digital, dance, literature, music, etc.), by organising exhibitions and workshops, through a living lab, and via its various events and residencies, etc.

This new hub of creation and innovation has strong roots in the area and hopes it can be a driver of growth and development locally, creating value for the town of Cognac and the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region at large, while also championing an international outlook on creation.

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