César Giron


« The Fondation d’entreprise Martell continues to evolve, one year after it opened the first of its spaces on the ground floor of the Gâtebourse tower. Shine a Light, the chandelier created by Nathalie Talec, has transformed the lobby into a window to a creative world, while L’ombre de la vapeur by Adrien M & Claire B has offered visitors a very special experience, fun for some, contemplative for others, and an unprecedented experience for all.

The main direction chosen for the 2018-19 program was defined in keeping with this 2018 opening. Greeting and welcoming people into our home – this is how we can summarize these 12 months within the foundation’s walls. Thanks to the collaborations organized by the team, visitors have explored these new spaces and seen them come to life throughout the events.

The lobby area was initially designated as the heart of the new Care program. Having served as a walk-through, a cinema hall and an art gallery, it has kept its promises, like a decompression chamber in between the day-to-day routine and moments suspended in time. L’ombre de la vapeur, besides being exhibited as a contemporary art masterpiece, has provided the setting for educational visits for children as well as weekly yoga classes. In spring, the 1st edition of the MétaMusiques Festival filled the entire Gâtebourse site with concerts to suit all tastes in a delightful atmosphere. The development of local partnerships (LEC Festival, La Palène art center), the welcoming of traveling artists (Mario D’Souza, Samplerman) and the opening of the artistic studios for creators in residence, have perfected this desire to welcome people here in Cognac as if they were being invited into our own home. »

Nathalie Viot


« We have always considered the members of the public as stakeholders in our cultural projects rather than their outcome. The year’s program has enabled us to implement this concept at various levels.

The initial strategy was to create an area for welcoming people, a reception area. The Care program was thus born out of this idea, conceived as a means of taking care of oneself, of others and of the world. Organic markets, film screenings, conferences on social issues, meetings with the creators… have all given a voice to the people. The artists Mario D’Souza (on the 5th floor) and Samplerman (in the stairwell) have left us with their own testimony, like a narrative of a journey through space or time.
With L’ombre de la vapeur, Adrien M & Claire B transformed the space without completely occupying it, leaving place for the visitors to actively interact with the work of art. We decided to intensify this approach by organizing events in various shapes and forms within the exhibition (dinners, yoga classes, tours…). The fun instinct of children or the contemplative gaze of adults proved that this experience has allowed everyone to benefit from the space.
Live performances and their collective dimension are, after all, one of the best vehicles in the art of entertaining. With the MétaMusiques Festival, and its previously unheard of multiple musical approach, as well as Ma bête noire by Thomas Chaussebourg and the children’s program at the LEC Festival, we have endeavored to foster shared moments.

The artistic studios, which were completed in summer 2019, will allow us to continue opening up the creative world to all audiences. »