This week, Inside Out Helsinki takes you to a very special art venue, Myymälä2, an alternative exhibition place and a shop located in Punavuori. 

A little background information on the space : The gallery was founded by Jani Joenniemi and Gareth Hayes on Mechelininkatu-street in 2002. The first exhibition, REBORNLUXURY, was at the same time a shop of Pusipusi-clothes by artists Frida Hultcrantz and Maija Luutonen. A couple of years later Myymälä2 moved to its current location in Uudenmaankatu, where the opening exhibition was the legendary ’Helsinki Hall of Fame’ organized by Karri Kuoppala, where underground graffiti scene gurus were painting the gallery walls all night long. Soon Myymälä2 had gained the reputation of a streetwise art space for all kinds of urban culture and visual art crossovers and Jan Konsin started running the space. Myymälä2 is the first of the ‘new wave’ of artist run spaces that started to appear in the early 2000s. Soon after Huuto! gallery opened and some years later Oksasenkatu11, XL-art space, 00130, SIC, and so on. Myymälä2 is a strong street art advocate. For a long time, the city officials' suffocating zero tolerance approach had an enormous effect on street art's practice and content. During that period, the venue played an active role in defending the banned forms of expression by distributing zines and hosting shows. 

Myymälä2 is unique in the sense that it doesn't have a strict formal line. They aim at connecting with different scenes, not just the visual art scene, but also with comic art, graphic design, graffiti, skate culture and music. Myymälä2 emphasizes content and attitude in its exhibitions and looks for dedication to one’s work and a position outside of what you can find in mainstream culture.
=> Good to know : there are quite a lot of various kinds of events happening in Myymälä2 as well, not just exhibitions, such as concerts, film screenings, talks, which is quite unusual for a gallery space in Helsinki.

The place has a lot of self-published books, fanzines and records, as well as a small selection of clothes. The shop is also a cafe. Myymälä2 tries to give exposure to independent publications and other small edition printed items that have very limited availability in Helsinki in general. 
 A lot of artists work in their studios in the back rooms of Myymälä2. Many of them are part of the co-operative (osuuskunta) which runs Myymälä2 + other enthusiasts. 

The space has open calls twice a year and selects from these. They have a continuous intense programming : in the spring, they organize the Fall programming and in the Fall, the Spring one.  Members of the co-op also have access to the space on short notice to host events. This way Myymälä2 can be the front of the scene in terms of what’s going on in the city and society in general. 

Exhibition images below:
En annan sida av Österbotten / Toinen puoli Pohjanmaasta
Oscar Hagen & Beni Köhler

One of the last shows at the venue, which can be seen in the photographs below, is “Dysterbotten” by artists Oscar Hagen & Beni Köhler which deals with hidden world of Pohjanmaa (Ostrobothnia) which means, basically, drug culture and use in that specific area. The exhibition was not pretty, as it deals with matters of alienation and becoming branded as a criminal and drug user by the society around you.

Further information: 
Address: Uudenmaankatu 23 F, Helsinki 00120
Opening hours: Wed-Sat 12pm–6pm, Sun 12pm–5pm, Mon-Tues Closed


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