Good bye, Tacheles?
Tacheles was the squatter building par excellence of Berlin. He survived, until last week, in a strange regime of legal emptiness and unstoppable cultural activity in which the acquired impostures did not tarnish a reality: Tacheles was the reflection of Berlin after the fall of the wall, the most underground and underground Berlin.
After the fall of the wall, the houses Berlin squatters They became an unbeatable tourist claim. The lovers had Venice Y Paris, and the young dreamers of the two worlds (of the recently collapsed Soviet bloc and western countries) converged on a city that was advertised like a party without master or patron, with thousands of bright houses with high ceilings and windows like stained glass. Clandestine bars and art workshops arose in the basements of the old buildings.
The chipped facades, with remains still from World War II, became the showcase of the most suggestive libertine boom in history. Over time, the squads and the bevels of the Federal Government and all the companies and all the real estate and all the banks that dreamed of their own real estate utopia fell on the landscape of the city. They inherited the land, but the disastrous economic situation in Berlin, technically bankrupt Following a banking scandal in 2001 (yes, Merkel), it allowed some remains of that first wave to survive.
Tacheles is an open door to any artistic activity © Getty Images
It is the case of Tacheles, the Central building built at the beginning of the 20th century like some department stores in the heart of the Jewish quarter. Later, in the 20s, under the name of Haus der Technik, served as an exhibition center of the State Electric Company, to transform, under Nazi rule, into SS headquarters and in jail for French prisoners. After the war, it was located in the eastern part of the city, as an immense ruin to which the communist government did not finish giving concrete use. It hosted different workshops and a cinema, but in the 80s the Government began the demolition work. They began by destroying the great dome, and total destruction was planned for February 1990.
In full chaos after the fall of the wall, an artist collective occupied the building and saved it from disappearance. Since then, Tacheles has lived in a legal vacuum, under the constant threat of eviction, between rumors, pacts, assignments, balances and doubts. In any other city, the Tacheles would have disappeared, but the mixture of tenacity of its inhabitants, and the certainty, on the part of the local authorities, that it had become a juicy tourist symbol of the city, they conspired to extend their life.
The interior of Tacheles is an eternal graffiti © Corbis
Since then many Berliners observed with suspicion what they considered a tourist complex. The truth, and here comes the first confession, is that despite the loss of "clandestine" purity, the traveler had the right to be impressed to see a gigantic warehouse half demolished in the middle of the city, cut by a giant's ax, like those scenes of news events in which the rooms of a house without a wall are focused after a gas explosion.
The bars were not especially cheap, and the artisans who work in the workshop looked more like a sour guardian of borders than a quaint and quaint Italian shoemaker. In the exhibitions there were posters prohibiting the photos and, when you looked around the corridors of the upper floors, you could meet a neighbor of the house who "I'd rather not see you". But the terrace at the rear, with its sand garden and metal moon rockets, and its occasional electronic music sessions, still retaining an attractive taste of urban circus and camp among the ruins.
Goodbye Lenin! © D.R.
In 'Good Bye, Lenin', When the protagonist goes out for the first time with the Russian nurse, they go to a huge squat house and end up sitting on the ledge of a half-collapsed building, with their feet hanging in the void, sharing a joint and two bottle of Becks. With music by Yann Tiersen in the background, Daniel Brühl's voiceover is heard:
“Airs of change were blowing among the ruins of our republic. Summer arrived and Berlin was the prettiest place on the earth's layer. We had the feeling of being the center of the world, where, finally, something moved and we moved its rhythm ”.
Although the scene was not shot in Tacheles, the director was directly inspired by this squat house. And just for that reason the Tacheles, that was evicted a week ago, He deserves to stay alive. Despite his imposturesNow that we have the feeling of being the center of a regression and moving backwards, the Tacheles is like that piece of museum that reminds us of a fleeting time in which Berlin was a party and the world a utopia.
The artist Alexandra Wendorff creating in Tacheles © Getty Images