Dienstag, 31. Mai 2011

Exploring Tacheles

I've been at Tacheles several times but always in the outside garden. One night, last year, while introducing the city to a friend of mine, I took part to a kind of juggling with fire performance. Other night, there were simply people moving around singing or dancing in the sand. I never dared to visit the building in itself and wasn't too much interested either. After two years of experimental arts, I learned to limit my time spent watching various creative exercises. 

But today, I was there around lunch time and saw a lot of people coming and going. And, not so strict regarding the artistic criteria, I entered the building. For the first time in my life.

Only after the first two floors I was able to get used with the smell. A mixture of odors of old building, public toilet, cigarettes, garbage. The attention to various smells was distracted by various musics coming from the artists' room. According to various evaluations, here are hosted approximatively 30 studios, with almost 300 artists involved in various activities.
Artists don't want to give up
You can find almost everything you could like about arts: photography, jeweleries, illustrators, painters, movies...Many artists are allowing the visitors - in a big number and of all ages - to take part to their creative activities. They are working and creating - not without a bit of exhibitionism - while people are taking pictures, looking around, buying stuffs or making comments about what do they see. 

Call for action

The entry to Babel

Learn how to read the walls
As in many other places in Berlin, reading the walls could be an interesting activity. Various drawings and messages are superposing, in a Babel of voices, colours and intentions. Political messages, collages, stencils, simple and child-like drawings, aggressive colours. You don't recognize the artist's hand and the trace of the homeless who spent a night or two here. Your eyes are getting used little by little with the walls' alphabet. 

Watch your steps

Graffiti effect

Filling the void with colours and letters

One of the shops

Political support for Khdorkovsky

Artist at work

Old and new in the yard

Graffiti and ad-hoc installations
In Yiddish, Tacheles means 'straight talking'. Former department store built at the beginning of 20th century, situated in the Jewish quarter, and a former Nazi prison it become an attraction point for artists in the 80s when they occupied the building as a protest against its demolition. Since then, the danger of extinction was waved several times, and the issue was solved for medium term each time. The danger persisted and the situation continues to be complicated, mostly given the financial difficulties of the owners. On the other hand, the newest problem on the agenda is a wall obstructing the accesss to the yard, a consequence of real estate plans in the immediate neighborhoud. The artists and their supporters promise to continue the fight.
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