Walking through one of the more ‘colourful’ districts of Berlin one evening, Scarlet and I discovered the old Kunsthaus and it doesn’t look as tame and oldy worldy as you’d expect. The artist group Tacheles have taken up and stamped (or rather, spray painted) their mark all over every inch of this six storey building and are now spilling onto the streets and any piece of waste land they can find.
There’s all sorts to be seen: amazing jewellery, illustration, painting, metal work, woodwork – you name it, you’ll find it! The artists are from all over Europe, I got chatting with the Dutch artist Tim Roeloffs and the Belarusian painter Alex Rodin; their work was completely different but both appealed to me in different ways – take a look!
Tacheles is a beautiful place, unconventional in every way but the warmth of the artists and the community they’ve built outshines the decrepit nature of the building. Yes it’s dingy and dark, yes the stench of urine is almost unbearable, yes it’s falling to pieces but as we worked our way up the treacherous spiral staircase to the top we grew to love it.
Alex Rodin’s work is in the top of the building and with my fear of heights it was looking like we weren’t going to get there but I’m so glad we did. He was the oldest of the artists we met and his space was a church-like gallery of huge canvases, lit from above through great sky lights. I wish I could have taken photos but on my teeny tiny budget I couldn’t even afford the one euro donation, the paintings are really out of this world though. Alex Rodin’s pieces actually impressed me far more than most of the work I’ve seen recently in London galleries, now that’s saying something!
On a very sad note…Tacheles is being forced out of its home. The council are demolishing the building as it is essentially a squat, a brilliant bohemian dream but a squat all the same.
We signed a petition to try to SAVE TACHELES and you can do the same here… http://super.tacheles.de/cms/
It’s one of the most amazing places I’ve ever seen, no exaggeration, just because it’s a collective of 80 people from across the world who want and have managed to fight for the same thing and that’s simply a space to do the things they love to do.
So help them keep fighting!
p.s. I must apologise for the standard of most of these photos, I was overexcited and experiencing the after effects of vertigo for most.