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Earlier this summer in Cognac, France, Fondation d’Entreprise Martell opened “L’ombre de la vapeur,” the inaugural exhibition of its new ground floor gallery. A space measuring almost 2,000 square feet, the gallery was created with the intent of hosting annual immersive installations where the featured artist highlights major themes and materials important to the foundation like light, travel, time, wood, and nature.
“L’ombre de la vapeur,” which translates to, “the shadow of the vapor,” is an interactive show inspired by the Torula mushroom, a fungus that blackened the entirety of the space prior to the foundation’s renovation. Using digital technology, Claire Bardainne and Adrien Mondot have reimagined the fungus as a magical entity, creating an homage to all that is lively. With the aid of about thirty video projectors and a sound installation composed by Olivier Mellano, the artists transformed the space into a landscape where the individual particles of the fungi (usually only visible under a microscope) swirl through the air, creating elaborate floating forms that react to visitors’ movements.
When visiting “L’ombre de la vapeur,” open through April 2019, be sure to head up to the foundation’s new rooftop bar, Indigo by Martell. Perched atop the terrace of the Gâtebourse Tower, the bar presents breathtaking panoramic views of Cognac and an ecological design by the Paris-based studio, Prémices and Co.