The Martell Foundation is dedicated to the art of design and aesthetics.
Since 2017, the Martell Foundation has been housed in the Gâtebourse tower, a massive and singular modernist structure in the center of Cognac that offers new experiences in artistic production, research, and mediation through exhibitions, seminars, events, and residencies…
Places to be and Sagmeister & Walsh: Beauty are two interactive and communal exhibitions that will be held this year at this new pole of creation and innovation.
Places to be, the first exhibition, has 14 international designers. 14 foreign designers were tasked with creating habitable “places to be,” similar to the game Cluedo. To accomplish so and ensure each artist’s ingenuity, the artists have only the surface of their space as information!
The artistic curator Nathalie Viot and Laurent Geoffroy, designer of the Charente business Chalvignac, constructed massive stainless steel tanks ranging from 2.50 to 3.50 meters high with the goal of creating a daily use setting for tourists rather than a museum. This colossal building is inspired by the surrealist landscapes of Italian painter Giorgio and houses works by:
– Clément Brazille, who wants to revisit the hall. The oak table and stools were designed by the Ateliers du Faire, which are located on the foundation’s second floor and where inhabitants work with glass, ceramics, wood, and fabric.
Clément Brazille created a lobby for the exhibition. In the city, there are a variety of places to visit.
– Yuan Yuan encourages you to explore your five senses in a cloud-themed environment. While three cumulus clouds evoke the senses of scent and touch, the altocumulus, with its 580 scales in seven hues, invites a light show suggesting the various colors that clouds take according on the time of day. The core cirrus invites you to go on a mental journey and immerse yourself in the clouds.
– Ornaghi & Prestinari explore the couple’s bedroom and intimacy. Two people who have the opportunity to share a common area by moving beyond the shelf partition that divides a section of the bed can get closer by moving beyond the shelf barrier. The lights, on the other hand, are a game in and of themselves, whether they are on common ground or not!
– Jerszy Seymour envisions a prototype that functions as a self-contained ecosystem. Organs painted in bright pink are grafted onto a black skeleton, with a green solar panel acting as the lung and heart.
– The spiral staircase is reimagined as a belvedere by Anima One. It turns on itself, allowing us a different perspective on the scenography.
The living room is reinterpreted by the designer. The room dubbed Das Stumme spricht (based by Herman Hesse’s namesake book) invites contemplation and stillness, with mineral blocks with enigmatic functions, shelves in the shape of faces, and lights with imperceptible movement.
– Matali Crasset reinvents the kitchen and investigates the boundary between a “below” and a “from below” world, worlds where we cook, connect, settle, and exchange around what nature has to offer!
– Jenny Feal decorates her library with white to represent individual freedom and red to represent social conflicts and communism’s optimism, reflecting the fate of her grandpa, a Cuban writer jailed by the Castro dictatorship. The hammock, the blouse, and the hats are all Cuban-themed items in this room.
– Céline Thibault and Géraud Pellottiero reimagine the veranda by taking cues from all across the world. This veranda, inspired by the Japanese engawa, assembles structural elements that pay homage to the Charente region’s know-how. This garden, an invitation to zenitude, is an inward trip that can be taken alone or with others.
– Porky Helfer built a massive, hanging nest out of walnut shells. We let ourselves be taken away by the softness of the sheepskins and the singing of birds escaping into the space, as if we were a bird.
– Wendy Andreu provides a reimagined dance floor in the final tank, where Marie Davidson makes the audience vibrate with her title. Under the neon lights with floating curves and the disco ball, chasing the light, while a tapestry recalling chain links emerges to reinforce the closeness of the area.
– Stephane Bottard signs the last spot and creates the Au bout du monde space. We let ourselves be swept by the visuals, from the wisdom of the forest to the force of the ocean. We take a breath!
The Martell Foundation invites you to reconsider design and space through the eyes of renowned artists with this exhibition!
Beauty by Sagmeister & Walsh
The exhibition Beauty, created by Stefan Sagmeister and Jessica Walsh, immerses the viewer in an interactive and sensual experience. It calls into question the value of beauty in our lives and prompts us to consider the fundamental issue, “What is beauty?”
Sight, smell, touch, and hearing are all used in this encounter throughout the areas. Various questions are posed, and various themes such as architecture, light, and landscapes are explored in order to better grasp what beauty is and what it entails!