While Paris is renowned for its museums and galleries, it has been lacking in the creative, youthful, collaborative art spaces common to cities like Berlin. Now there’s a new type of gallery in the Paris art scene and it’s called The Community.
During the September 2016 Paris Fashion Week, The Community opened its gallery doors in Paris 10th Arrondissement. The gallery is specialized in supporting young emerging artist, designers and creators.
The Community is a cross-disciplinary art and design platform where creative fields, such as art, fashion, textiles, sculpture, music, publishing and photography meet. The exhibitions are built in layers by iteratively adding or taking away pieces from the existing exhibition. In this way, a single exhibition’s visual materials change and evolve throughout its display. Building an exhibition in layers creates a fresh gallery concept; it allows for a new way to experience the permanent collection.
The gallery has organized events, such as the fashion show after party for the Finnish-Parisian fashion brand Aalto International, as well as performances and music sessions, for example by Bill Kouligas of the record label PAN. To honour the annual photography fair Paris Photo, The Community added photography to the current exhibition. Everything on display in the gallery space is for sale, excluding some one-of-a-kind fashion pieces.
The Community is collectively run and was founded by Sini Rinne-Kanto, Tuomas Autio, Jussi Kantonen, Aapo Nikkanen, Benjamin Pöntinen, Katja Luostarinen, Tuukka Laurila and Osma Harvilahti. Half of whom are based in Paris; the rest live in New York, London or Helsinki. They are all Finnish-raised but met in Paris. While their backgrounds differ – photography, art, graphic design, brand storytelling or fashion – they share a mutual vision of a modern gallery.
In early 2016, the collective started to develop and brainstorm their ideas for an art space. They knew early on which area of Paris they wanted the space to be located and managed to find an ideal space during the summer – an old African barbershop in a lively neighbourhood with ethnic shops and hipster-y restaurants. The area is close to downtown and “is at the moment one of the most interesting areas in Paris”, says Tuomas Autio, one of the The Community members. Here the creative class meets the ethnic society and The Community is one of the neighbourhood’s first galleries.
It was a “non-stop work before the opening”. The gallery was scheduled to open only one week after the group took possession. The space has two rooms with gorgeous pink structured walls. There are plaster marks here and there, bronze piping sticking out and disco-ball mosaic mirrored columns. The interior is pretty much in its original condition; all they did “was paint the ceiling white and work around details including the lighting”. Tuomas describes this as “an evolutionary way of thinking about the use of space”, letting the history be part of the present.
Since the opening, The Community “has become like a new living room for the 10th Arrondissement”, says Sini Rinne-Kanto. Here locals, art lovers and random passer-byers hang together. The space has an utterly welcoming atmosphere and it’s in the perfect neighbourhood for The Community.
The current exhibition will be displayed until end of November. A new exhibition will take place be in December. For every art lover, hipster or Paris-lover The Community is definitely worth a visit. It’s easy to find: Take subway number 4 and get off at Strasbourg St Denis.
65 Rue du Château d’Eau
Open from Wednesday to Sunday 13:00-21:00