How long is now – Tacheles, Berlin – Germany
How long is now? Such a deep question to illustrate the tragic destiny of a wonderful artistic initiative in Berlin, named Tacheles. Tacheles was an art center in Berlin, which closed in September 2012, after 20 years of existence and collaboration between artists.
First of all, what does Tacheles mean? It means “Speak to the point” in Yiddish. This place was called like this after the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989, when some artists of the East and the West of Berlin wanted to promote the freedom of expression. Tacheles was considered as the most famous artistic squat in the world!
The Tacheles is a building with 5 floors in concrete, 1250 square meters. The art center was composed of artist’s studios, a gallery, a bar, a cinema, a restaurant. The place used to host workshops and exhibitions.
The main dates of the history of the Tacheles:
- 1909: construction of a commercial gallery
- 1928: the building was used as an exhibition hall by the German Company of Electricity
- 1930s: the building was used by the National Socialist German Worker’s Party.
- 1941: the building became the headquarters of the SS
- 1943: the building was transformed into a prison for French war prisoners
- 1948: the building belonged to the Free German Trade Union Federation
- 1958: the building became more and more damaged
- 1980: the demolition of the building started slowly.
- 13th February 1990: beginning of the occupation of the space by artists from the East and the West of Berlin, 2 months before the complete demolition of the building. The Künstlerinitative Tacheles took care of the building and create a remarkable art centre.
- September 2012: Tacheles closed, after HSH Nordban, the owner of the building, decided to sell it.
Nowadays the association Artprotacheles is trying to save the spirit of Tacheles with new projects in Berlin. Despite the closure of the building a garden with different sculptures is still open to the public.
How to go to the Tacheles?
Here is the adress: Herzbergstraße 52, 10365 Berlin, Germany.