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Tacheles - Wiktionary
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Length: pages. Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled. To defy capitalism, you have to defy its institutions. I know such art can exist, that art can build utopias, because I visited Tacheles in its heyday. Berlin in the first few years after the Wall came down was a place where art seemed to actually be about experimental lifestyles and defiant visions of social freedom — and not about the careers of artists.
At the exact moment when Britain's Hirst generation was turning punk attitude into money , the sprawling, chaotic, fascinating world of Tacheles was creating a vast vision of anarchist Dada dissent.
I stumbled on the place, a gargantuan ruin of a building on the eastern side of the recently vanished Berlin Wall. Tacheles was one of many buildings in east Berlin that hovered between semi-collapse and unfinished building site. In its courtyard of raw earth and smashed concrete, surreal sculptures of missiles and tanks made from scrap metal created apocalyptic mayhem. Inside, bars had been carved out of cavernous spaces that seemed to go on forever.
It was a meeting place for the city's artists and subversives that had the atmosphere of some legendary, mythic avant garde venue of the past like the Cabaret Voltaire. The spirit of these radical artists really seemed to survive at Tacheles and in the surrounding streets of former east Berlin. For those few years after the Wall came down, this was a magical no man's land of creativity and freedom. Returning to Berlin since, on every visit the city has seemed more glassy, more corporate.
The ruins of Potsdamer Platz became a heartless shopping mall. Tacheles, however, endured — although it felt more like a cool bar with an eye to tourists than the revolutionary warren it once was.
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Now it has succumbed to the German capital's relentless march of economic rationalisation.