A Drink To Us [When We're Both Dead] functions as memento mori, examining notions of trust, history, patience and mortality. The works consists of a specially designed casket of whiskey buried in Dufftown, Scotland for one hundred years, but pre-sold to the consumer now in the form of a lavishly designed, but ultimately empty, container.
A Drink To Us [When We're Both Dead], 2008
Linen box, extruded sapele box, map, contract, postcard, 100 Year Diary. Edition of 25.
A Drink To Us (When We’re Both Dead)
Terms and Conditions
1. In consultation with the staff at The Glenfiddich Distillery in Dufftown, Scotland, the artist will attempt, in earnest, to produce a barrel of one hundred year old Scotch whisky.
Every effort will be made to circumvent the numerous obstacles involved, in particular the problem of long-term evaporation. Approximately two per cent of the original volume of a barrel is lost yearly, a portion known as Angel’s Share. To minimize this, the spirit will be housed in a reinforced 2nd-use sherry butt from Spain and buried underground, surrounded by stones from the river Fiddich. This will allow the oak to breathe, but also provide a consistently cool, low-humidity environment.
2. The contents of the artwork shall be referred to as ‘Spirit from the Glenfiddich Distillery’.
3. Calculations indicate that the resulting spirit will meet the current legal requirement of 40% alcohol by volume. However, in the event of an understrength cask (or an increase in the legal requirement in the year 2108) Glenfiddich reserves the right to blend the spirit. As is required by current law, the resulting product will be identified as the age of the youngest barrel from which it was blended. All instances of the phrase “one hundred year old spirit” shall be stricken.
4. The spirit remains the property of Glenfiddich until the maturation date of 2108. The buyers will have record of the location of the buried casket, but the Distillery will maintain only the formal documentation required by Customs and Excise. There will be no marker at the ‘burial site’, and its location will be known only through hearsay over the years.
5. The claimant is responsible for all future costs, including, but not limited to: travel to witness the excavation, shipping, and duty charges in 2108.
6. In the unforeseen event that the barrel becomes damaged, the Distillery reserves the right to substitute the spirit with that from a similar cask. Again, all instances of the phrase “one hundred year old spirit” shall be removed.
7. The buyer must be of legal drinking age (eighteen in the UK, eighteen or nineteen in Canada, depending on the province) at the time of purchase.
8. Medical advances not withstanding, the buyer recognizes the likelihood that he or she will live into the next century is slim, and accepts that the work must be passed on as a gift.
9. The work is available in an edition of twenty-five, and one ‘artist’s proof’. Twelve copies will be made available through Glenfiddich and twelve through the artist’s dealer. One bottle will remain in the collection of the Distillery.
10. In the event of future prohibition, this contract is null and void.
We, the undersigned, agree to the above conditions of sale.
________________________ (Dave Dyment)
The great problem with the future is that we die there. – Stewart Brand