Martin Schoeller

Artistic Campaign 2017/2018

For 42 years now, Pernod Ricard has been giving a contemporary artist a carte blanche to illustrate its annual report. Some years ago, Pernod Ricard decided to bring its employees into the spotlight by giving them a chance to pose as a one-day model before a world-renowned photographer. For this new collaboration, Inspiring Action, Pernod Ricard & Martin Schoeller are showcasing eighteen Group employees from all horizons and positions. Without any reference to their environments, any artifices or retouches, this campaign allows us to put a face –or faces– to our 18,500 Creators of Convivialité.

Inspiring Action’ captures our employees’ Mindset

Throughout the year, I travel the world to meet Pernod Ricard employees from our 87 affiliates. And I still get amazed by how they seize the Group’s culture and Mindset, regardless of their culture, position, and origin.

Either with the youngsters’ freshness, the millennials’ boldness and impulsiveness, or the traits derived from experience, all our employees have changed Pernod Ricard’s appearance over time. However, they all remain determined in their vision, committed to action, passionate about their brands, engaged on the field, and definitely oriented towards the future. They are the pride of our Group and they have been the reason for its success since 1975

Martin Schoeller has created a series of 18 fair and powerful portraits of Pernod Ricard faces. Being “Créateurs de convivialité”, as outlined by our corporate signature, ultimately means being yourself, honest, and open to others in everything you undertake. Convivialité is the truth of a shared moment. It means being genuine, natural and having no formalism – what you see is what you get. With the same light, framing, and angle, Martin Schoeller has managed to reveal each employee’s richness by digging into the intriguing profoundness of their look.

They either complement or differ from each other, reach out or question us but one thing is certain - we all recognize ourselves in each and every one of them because this moment of truth inspires us. They form the ‘Inspiring Action’ faces by Pernod Ricard.

 

Artistic Campaign Making Of

Martin Schoeller Studio

Martin Schoeller (German, b. 1968) is an award-winning portrait photographer renowned for extreme-close up portraits. He studied at Lette Verein in Berlin and lives in works in New York City.

Familiar faces are treated with the same levels of scrutiny as the un-famous. The unknown and the too-well-known meet on a level platform that enables comparison, where a viewer’s existing notions of celebrity, value, and honesty are challenged. Growing up in Germany, he was deeply influenced by August Sander’s countless portraits of the poor, the working class, and the bourgeoisie, as well as by Bernd and Hilla Becher, who spawned a school known as the Becher-Schüler. Schoeller’s close-up portraits emphasize, in equal measure, the facial features, both studied and unstudied, of his subjects— world leaders and indigenous groups, movie stars and the homeless, athletes and artists—leveling them in an inherently democratic fashion.

Schoeller worked as an assistant to Annie Leibovitz from 1993 to 1996. He advanced as a freelance photographer, producing portraits of people he met on the street. The work gained recognition for its strong visual impact and since 1998, his work has appeared in Rolling Stone, National Geographic, TIME, GQ, Esquire, Entertainment Weekly, and The New York Times Magazine, among other publications. Schoeller joined Richard Avedon as a contributing portrait photographer at The New Yorker in 1999, where he continues to produce award-winning images. His portraits are exhibited and collected internationally, including in several solo exhibitions in Europe and the United States and are included in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

Martin Schoeller interview

Where did the idea of shooting close-ups come from?

I have always been fascinated by faces. What can you really tell about a person from looking at their face: What is considered an honest expression? Can a photograph capture a person’s soul? What makes a face sympathetic? I believe a photographic close-up is perhaps the purest form of portraiture, it is intimate and the viewer is being confronted in a way that is not possible in daily interactions. It is all about the face, nothing else matters. There are no clues about social status and I am photographing everybody exactly the same. I want to invite comparison, to challenge our existing notions of celebrity, value and honesty.

What made you decide to accept Pernod Ricard’s invitation to photograph their employees?

I liked the fact that Pernod Ricard was featuring its own employees in a corporate campaign and that they wanted them photographed in my style. No retouching, no accessories, no disguises, just them, as people, as they are. They’re all unknown to the rest of the world and yet are invaluable to Pernod Ricard. Knowing they’re part of a company initiating this campaign will make people think, and ask themselves questions, like ‘what you can really tell just by looking at someone’s face?’ I don’t have any answers. The one thing I know is that we are all so similar.

What was the state of mind of the models on the set?

I sensed a lot of excitement, people were very happy to be here, to be chosen, to be part of this project. They were also a bit anxious and a little bit nervous, impressed. Talking to them helped them relax more and more and in the end I hope they enjoyed the process. Thanks to them, I learned a lot about the making of spirits, and I loved seeing the passion in them when they started talking about their brands. I’ll be a more knowledgeable consumer from now on!