An artistic book about 733 miles adventure from Brittany, France to Scotland on a 1941 wooden boat transformed into whisky barrels.
Hogshead 733 is an artistic project that includes a journey, a sea adventure, story of heritage, friendship & whiskey. The process follows the restoration of a typical 1941 wooden fishing boat, her last 733 miles sailing journey, and final transformation of the boat, soaked with sea and adventure into two whisky barrels. Every specially chosen stage gives a possibility to research the poetics of a specific manual labor expertise: boat building, sailing, barrel making and whisky production.
Through the everlasting human wish for new discoveries, experiences and achievements, entangled with the power and beauty of nature, in August 2015 we have embarked on a unique adventure from the shipyard in Trebeurden, France to the distillery in Islay, Scotland.
The journey has ended, the whiskey is refining, our boat is long gone. After accomplishing the project, we have combined all the adventures in a unique artist book called Hogshead 733.
Artist book Hogshead 733 is a complete document of our journey and process. It is our way of bringing the story to you, of inspiring and sharing our adventure.
Journey started in the shipyard in Trebeurden. A typical wooden brittany fishing boat from 1941 was decontaminated - sanded with high pressure sand and -90°C ice, repaired and prepared for the last sailing trip. We have sailed this boat, on an adventures journey of 733 miles. A one month sailing from Trebeurden, France to the Island of Islay, Scotland. Once landing in Islay, the hull, fulfilled with sea, salt, wind and adventure, was dismantled. The wood, once more reused, have became the building block of two handmade whisky barrels, 250 litres Hogsheads.
The boat that we have used is a typical brittany fishing boat-Misaine, from 1941, made out of the white oak. A specific small single masted sailing vessel, fore-and-aft rigged, with one headsail. Misaine is characterized as high speed, highly maneuverable and yet easy to handle by just two person crew. Even though it looks fragile, this boat was our house, our courtyard and our home for one month on ruthless sea.
“Every day demands from us a precise organization to live together in this cell. Yet we have managed to make it our own space. Both of us have our own side, both of us have our personal effects. For Mark a picture of a bad impersonator of Elvis Presley, a tooth brush and a sketchbook. For me a picture of a Queen recovery group, a tooth brush and marines charts. No place to swing a cat.” - Maxime Berthou
Our sailing trip started in Trebeurden, France and led us first across the English Channel to Plymouth. We continued our trip by the english coast towards the Bristol Channel and towards our final destination – Island of Islay, Scotland. Sailing trip lasted approximately one month (cca 733 miles) and was done in one round. Crew on the sailing boat consisted only us.
“On the open sea you can only rely on the compass, in the night with no stars nothing else shows you your direction. My head lamp was all the time directed on it, flashing just for little moments towards the sea to observe the cargo traffic. Rain and wind continued even stronger and we were crashing wave after wave. BAM-SPLASH, BAM-SPLASH, BAM – SPLASH. Old woodenhull was moaning and shaking with every hit. In one moment we heard a big splash, the wind pulled off the radar reflector. It joined the mast lamp that was gone already one hour ago.” - Mark Požlep
On our arrival to Islay we have disassembled the boat and the oak wood, soaked with the sea, wind and adventures, was used for the production of two barrels, a 250l whisky barrel-Hogshead. Casks were done according to traditional procedure by professional cask makers in Speyside Cooperage. Furthermore the barrels were fulfilled with 12 years old whisky in one of the the oldest independent distillery in Scotland. Fulfilled barrels will be stored in their cellar for the time, necessary for the whisky to finish its taste.
“We have sliced it like a fish, separating the flesh from the bones. Straight, sharp cuts. One by one the whole structure was opening. Soutien de Famille have finished her last trip with dignity and now it was time for transformation. We did not have a problem dismantling, what we called ‘home’, for a month. As much as it inspired us, we felt decadent, cleansed after reusing the pieces of the boat and burning the rest of them. No martyrs, just the revelation. Straight to Valhalla!” -Mark Požlep
The book contains two essay journals, written by us, expressing our personal experience during the project. Selected photo documentation that was captured with analog and digital camera. The images document and reveal our view through the lense and are as artistic as well as descriptive. The images are accompanied with drawings that were done while we were still planning the project and also with the ones made during the sailing trip. On the top there is an interview with us taken after the journey and two texts written by experts in the field of contemporary art. The texts are an in-depth perspective into both of us and our place in the contemporary art scene. All together the book contains 320 pages and will be bilingual in English and French.
But we didn’t just want to publish our content from the journey, we want to make it into a small piece of art itself. As the boat have travelled for 733 miles we want to publish a special edition of the book with hard wooden covers in 733 copies. This edition, numbered and signed will be published specially for you guys, KissKissBankers, and in case of reprint it will not include wooden covers and numbered edition. For helping us make this book a reality, we want to give a piece of Hogshead 733 directly to you!
Format of the book:
-170 x 240mm
-733 numbered edition