This year, the Pernod Ricard Group is going in a fresh direction for its annual artistic “Carte Blanche” while still affirming that art only has meaning if it is shared. This spirit of openness and collaboration will take form through a new long-term artistic sponsorship program.
Each year, an artistic committee will select a major figure in contemporary photography to serve as a mentor. The mentor, in turn, selects an artist—whose practice may differ from photography—to develop, hand-in-hand, a project of international scope. The duo receives a grant, a production budget, artistic direction and tailor-made support for one year. It will culminate in an immersive exhibition at the Rencontres de la photographie d’Arles for its 53rd edition.
Stimulating a new approach to artistic patronage, the mentoring program evolves its strategy of supporting creators, transmitting knowledge and bringing people together around authentic shared experiences. Pernod Ricard’s new artistic mentoring program promotes dialogue. Mutually beneficial to both the mentor and the mentee, it links existing expertise with the emerging sector across cultures and generations.
The Mentor: Sandra Rocha
Portuguese artist Sandra Rocha (born in 1974) works with photography, collages, and video. She draws inspiration from mythological stories—from Ovid to Herman Melville—to activate an imaginary world linking animal, vegetable and mineral.
After two years of studying biology, Sandra Rocha switched to photojournalism. Trained at Ar.Co, a school of visual arts in Lisbon, she worked for a daily newspaper for four years before returning to university to study Art History.
She co-founded a collective of Portuguese photographers, Kameraphoto (2003-2012). In 2013, she moved to Paris and presently is a professor of photography at the Institut Supérieur d'Arts Appliqués. She also teaches as part of the CPIF Triple Mix(te)s program, an artistic and cultural education project carried out in five Ile-de-France high schools. She is represented by Galerie Filles du Calvaire.
The Mentee: Perrine Géliot
French artist Perrine Géliot (born in 1994) creates three-dimensional photographic objects that convert photographic instantaneity into sculptures.
She studied at the National School of Fine Arts in Paris, and successively joined the studios of photographers Patrick Tosani and Eric Poitevin. In 2018, she went to Thailand as part of a five-month exchange with Silpakorn University in Bangkok. Her work has been presented at the Beaux-Arts in Paris in 2020 and 2021.
Speaking about Géliot, Rocha said, "I was looking for an artist… who thinks about photography in a three-dimensional way, in order to initiate a dialogue with my own practice."
Rocha added: "I wanted to take advantage of this mentoring program for a graduate student in 2020 who was unable to showcase her production due to the pandemic."
Two artistic visions, one exhibition
Sandra Rocha and Perrine Géliot went to Chiapas, Mexico. Both artists draw on themes of travel, landscape, and rituals. The city of Palenque and its exquisite waterfalls represent a continuous flow of energy and motion, touching on transcendence and the sacred. The duo constructed a poetic narrative that cuts through time.