The Community Centre

22.05. — 20.06.2021

Press release

We are happy to announce that the new home of The Community will open in Pantin on Saturday, May 22nd, 2021. The gallery’s inaugural exhibition Bread & Salt will feature new commissions and permanent works from 25 different artists.

After closing The Community’s initial space in Château d’Eau in 2018 to focus on the annual interdisciplinary fair Salon de Normandy by The Community, we are excited to announce that we are expanding and opening a new art centre in the neighbourhood of Pantin.

The Community Centre will be located at 9 rue Méhul, a space that was once occupied by a mineral paint shop. For the first show, the exhibition space will be exposed “as-it-is” to honour the history of the building. The gallery, located near Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Pantin and Centre national de la danse, is a long, ground-floor column-free space that occupies 270m2/2900ft2, providing a large multi-purpose expanse devoted to multidisciplinary exhibitions and events. In the future, the shop area by the entrance will function as a takeover space and later host the Pantin annex of Booth3000, a curated selection of books and unique pieces from emerging designers working in the realms of upcycling and repurposing.

In addition, we will open another space in the summer two doors down at 13 rue Méhul. The Community Garden & The Community House will consist of a two-story house, nine garage boxes, and a spacious green garden.

Refurbished by The Community and our close collaborators, the ground floor of The Community House accommodates a salon area for artist projects and a studio. This intimate space, with its white and earth orange walls, will provide a domestic setting for specific works and will ultimately display some of The Community’s permanent collection from the exhibition Bread & Salt. On the first floor, traces of the houses’ history remain through its worn paint on the walls and traditional tiles. Consisting of two rooms for our offices alongside a kitchen and bathroom, the rooms will act as a partition between public and private spaces. In The Community Garden, nine original garage boxes will be converted into artist ateliers and will serve as places to expand upon projects. In front, a spacious lawn will be used to stage outdoor events and gradually become a sculpture garden.

The three spaces - The Community Centre, Garden, and House - will play host to and explore the shifting intersections between cultural and social activities. Imagined as an alternative to cultural institutional models, each space will be dedicated to cultural and interdisciplinary programming. These spaces will feature ongoing exhibition programming and frequently changing projects – an evolving sculpture garden, installation series, cross-disciplinary events, performances, workshops, and more – across a wide spectrum of disciplines, from art to fashion to music to publishing.

Visitors will be welcomed to this new chapter of The Community with the group show Bread & Salt, opening on May 22nd. The exhibition will occupy The Community Centre at 9 rue Méhul and the public billboard above the space.

For our inaugural show at the new space and to mark this new chapter of The Community in a meaningful and long-lasting manner, we asked 25 international artists to propose permanent works and installations in the gallery space based on the idea of a new home. We asked the artists to think about the first piece they would install or build when settling up in a new place. What makes the home feel like home? This open invitation, a carte blanche, served as a catalyst for multiple ideas, ranging from utilitarian objects to architectural interventions to soundscapes that resonate in the space. The Bread & Salt exhibition will become the site-specific collection of The Community and will stay on view at the premises for the coming years.

The inaugural exhibition demonstrates our commitment to engage visitors from a variety of backgrounds to a cross-section of practices through diverse programming and promote a sense of community, while perpetually supporting emerging artists and established figures.

Furthermore, we are excited and committed to collaborating with organisations in the Pantin area to present a rich calendar of related education initiatives, public programming, and neighbourhood partnerships ranging from workshops and school projects to talks and performances. More detailed information on these initiatives is announced soon.

Ensuring wider accessibility, The Community will ensure bilingual (French/ English) communication, guided tours, and mediation. The full schedule of exhibitions and programs will be announced later this summer.

The Community Centre’s exhibition space is wheelchair accessible.