Helen Finch

The tragic news that the Kunsthaus Tacheles has just been evacuated, following a long and tortuous legal process, has just reached me. There are far better-qualified commentators to write about the legal and artistic implications of this decision, but for me, it’s terrible news. Tacheles is the imaginary centre of my youthful bohemianism.

I first found Tacheles in the freezing winter of 1994, as a DAAD student hungry for new experiences, radical art and the ‘real’ Berlin. Tacheles was huge, scary and mindblowing. As a nice bourgeois Dubliner, I had learned that art belonged in the National Gallery and in expensive picture books, but here it was noisy (metal beating!), illegal (squatting!), incomprehensible (were those marks art, graffiti or only random dirt?), interactive (you could just wander in!) and alive. Excursions to the bars in Tacheles seemed impossibly glamorous that winter, and then seemed almost like home. I furnished…

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