Finding common ground in the rebellious spirit of their respective crafts, Bisquit & Dubouché Cognac and multimedia artist Jillian Mayer joined forces to create “Glass Room”, an exhibition created specifically for Frieze Los Angeles.
The “Glass Room” is born from the cognac Maison's 200-year-old ritual of its double distillation and bottling process which utilizes glass, copper, and heat, all of which are active elements in the immersive exhibition.
Defined by warm palettes and shifting colors, the artwork is further recognized by its amorphous structure – a characteristic shared by glass’ composition and Bisquit & Dubouché’s avant-garde.
When speaking on the inspiration behind the collaboration’s distinct yet elusive nature, Mayer adds, “The appreciation for craftsmanship and trusting instinct is what determines when Bisquit & Dubouché is ready – not a technical formula.”
Read more on Mayer’s experience creating “Glass Room” below.
Tell us a bit about how the initial collaboration between you and Bisquit & Dubouché came about.
I was first introduced to Bisquit & Dubouché last year. When I saw cognac swirling elegantly in the glass, I instantly felt a connection to the materials, to that world, and to the colors themselves. I started to think about what it would be like to have a room of these materials and it became the impetus of my design. There was never a moment where I felt unsure of this concept. I felt it, I saw it, and I knew what it should be.
What prompted your more recent interest in working with glass as a medium for your art?
As humans, we tell stories. Stories come in many forms – it can be written word, a family quilt, and sometimes we tell them in glass. Glass is fascinating as a material. It will always break; it’s just a matter of time. It could last 1000 years or one day. I began to think about the properties of glass in a new way and its transformative powers as a material.
What elements of Bisquit & Dubouché are represented through "Glass Room"?
Discovering the heritage of the cognac was such a fun process and I was particularly enchanted by images of the Bisquit & Dubouché chateau in France. When I walk into one of these historic buildings, I immediately look up and go to the glass. You become aware of the world that came before you and how you’re just one part in this timeline. This idea of infusing an ages-old technique with a contemporary vision inspired me.
As I learned more about the process of distilling cognac, I was excited to find out that copper is a key component. I often pair copper with glass as they are symbiotic materials – copper can be embedded without impacting the color of the glass like other metals do. This special relationship between copper and glass, flowing together as compatible materials, felt like the perfect homage to a bottle of Bisquit & Dubouché.
How is "Glass Room" different from any other project you’ve worked on?
This is my first cohesive, experiential glass installation where viewers have a designed experience and journey through my glasswork. Much of my work is rooted in performance, so I can’t help but create an immersive installation whenever I’m designing.
How would you describe Bisquit & Dubouché compared to other liquors?
I loved that the brand had such a personal story. It’s about a family – a real and human story driven by its two founders, Alexandre Bisquit and Adrien Dubouché. That was beautiful to me. They pioneered an avant-garde approach to Cognac-making led by intuition and human touch. The appreciation for craftsmanship and trusting instinct is what determines when Bisquit & Dubouché is ready, not a technical formula.
How may one feel when experiencing "Glass Room"?
Glass is actually this amorphous material. Observe a drink as it is poured – the liquid swishes around and creates these temporary stains on the glass. I started thinking about the hues and the transformation created from these shifting colors. How can you let someone fully immerse themselves in that experience? I want visitors to be surrounded by that warm color palette of ambers, sepias, coppers, and burgundies that cognac inhabits and inspires.
In which ways, if any, has this project inspired you to create future artworks?
This installation prompted me to think about the transformative power of glass, experimenting with its immersive powers to transport the viewer – in this case, into cognac swirling in a glass.
BISQUIT & DUBOUCHÉ Cognac. 40% alc./vol. (80 Proof). 2022 Campari America, New York, NY. ENJOY RESPONSIBLY.