Présence Panchounette

Between 1969 and 1990, the Présence Panchounette collective banzaï-attacked the art world with an onslaught of press releases, fliers, irreverent mailing and butthead deeds. Primally active in Bordeaux, the group spread its action on to the international art scene, whose aesthetic hypocrisies and ideological taboos it pinned down with jovial ferocity. Celebrating the “chounette spirit”, they promoted an apologia of the worst, riding on a real trivial pursuit, supporting the vulgar versus the seriousness of “modernity”. Présence Panchounette would stand out, fighting against the values and tastes championed by the most influential cultural circles of that time. But, bad omen, the bravado of the Bordeaux-based collective would also anticipate movements born in the Eighties, like Appropriation and Neoconceptual art, which, as such, would find their place gently and comely in the historical official bios or genealogies. Concerned with not smothering its verve in the pernicious Pandora trunk of compromise and mendacity, Présence Panchounette turned its back on honours and remained stone deaf to the attracting songs of institutional sirens, until it announced its disbanding in 1990.

In 2008, the CAPC in Bordeaux hosted the first comprehensive survey of Présence Panchounette’s work, followed more recently by the retrospectives held at the Garage Cosmos in Brussels, the Lieu Commun and the CIAM La Fabrique in Toulouse. Their works have been shown at Musée national d’art moderne - Centre Pompidou, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris (FR), Power Station of Art, Shanghai (CN), Kunsthalle Darmstadt (DE), MAMCO, Geneva (CH), CAPC, Bordeaux (FR). Their works are held in the collections of the Musée national d’art moderne - Centre Pompidou, Musée d’art moderne de la Ville de Paris, Fondation Cartier, Paris (FR), MAC VAL, Vitry-sur-Seine (FR) and numerous FRACs.