Tacheles. One of the most amazing places I’ve ever been in my life. And a place that I may never see again. Close your eyes for me….well, you can’t. This is a blog. Ok, close your eyes after you read this. Imagine an art gallery as large as a building. In each room, a different artist; living and creating. Graffiti covering the walls. A faint smell of urine and stale beer as if there’d been thousands of parties on top of parties. You walk up the stairs and go into a video exhibition. Around the next corner is a small, underground bar filled with artists and locals. You have a drink and then go outside into a dusty backyard, littered with busted trailers and metal sculptures. You’re not sure if it’s a war zone or the greatest place on earth. Around every corner is something new. Something so unique you haven’t even thought it could exist. Grunge. Graffiti. Poverty. Community. This is art. This is what art is supposed to be. For some reason you feel freer than you’ve ever felt before. There’s something special about this place.
‘Tacheles is the last remaining part of a department store complex built at the beginning of the 20th century. It was heavily damaged by aerial bombs in World War II and the East Berlin authority had much of it torn down in the 1980s.’ -The end of an Era
In short, Tacheles was a squat. But a squat that turned into a haven for artists from around the world. A giant abandoned building that Berliners made into an artists utopia, which then turned into a must see tourist destination by foreigners and locals alike.
I spent some time in Berlin and was lucky enough to enjoy a few days at Tacheles. I wish that we could go back in time so that we all could see this gem. But unfortunately, all things must end. To use a Johnny Depp quote from Pirates of the Carribean, ‘(The) World’s still the same. There’s just less in it.’
There is talk that the city of Berlin will step in and declare this a historical site, at the urging of Tacheles supporters…..but there’s big money involved and politics. For the worlds sake, I hope that Tacheles survives. I understand the situation from both sides; artists want their home and big business wants to make money and gentrify the city. But come on, money can be made anywhere. My vote is with Tacheles. It is a dirty, cold mess……but it’s one of the most beautiful pieces of art I’ve seen.
You can do a quick google search or youtube search to learn more about Tacheles. I suggest that you take a little time out of your day and watch a video or read some articles. It’s beautiful.