I like to travel routes unknown, not for snobbery or thirst for distinguish myself, but simply because i like to follow my thought and my instict in the wake of curiosity.

TACHELES symbol of a city that no longer exists: BERLIN and Tacheles artists as Ermanno Olmi’s Characters in a docu-film.

34 commenti

“Berlin is becoming gentrified,” wrote Le Républicain Lorrain, “Berlin says farewell to bohemian artists,” said Le Point, and, according to Art Media Agency, it was “the end of an era” …

t_m  The closure of the famous Berlin art squat Tacheles, (september 4, 2012), by the authorities of a city increasingly dominated by property and finance, was a sad moment for anyone who believes art can offer alternative visions of the world.

In these days I’ve often spoken whit a dear friend about this topic and the new era and changes for the future in this city that i love so much. Zuleika, my friend, studied for a long time the architecture, the evolution of urbanism in Berlin and discovered unknown places of the city. (She also organizes tours very interesting that several times I have followed with Berlino Explorer).

Tacheles was one of many buildings in east Berlin that hovered between semi-collapse and unfinished building site.  After the Berlin wall had come down, it was taken over by artists, who called TACHELES, Yiddish for “straight talk”. The building contained studios and workshops, a nightclub, and a cinema. In its courtyard you saw surreal sculptures of missiles and tanks made from scrap metal created apocalyptic mayhem. Inside, bars had been carved out of cavernous space 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 of the past.

The new generation of young people will not be able to relish in Berlin this mood. Even though the Tacheles lost its free and non-commercial spirit some time ago, Berlin lost the trademark of alternative culture in its heart. Lets hope that Berlin will still keep some spaces of free art and not just regrets that they have none any more once they are all gone.


The city is indeed undergoing massive gentrification, but it’s not a new phenomenon. When the Euro was introduced in the early 2000′s, owners doubled the rent, forcing families into exile in the poorer suburbs. It left space for investors, bohemian artists and other creative types to move in.

Talking with Zuleika I asked her: “and then what happened?” She  invited me in marzhan and explains me what is the MAP. Tachels has a new structure, place (Alte Börse di Marzahn) and a new project for the future: The Mobile Atelier Project (MAP) that has the goal of focusing on gentrification and uses it to create an alternative way of thinking free space: making the concept of nomadisation  a letimotiv of creation.

For understanding better what  the Tacheles was really and the soul of its artists I advise you a docu-film: THE LAST DAYS OF TACHELES by the director Stefano Casertano, that touched me because you will see the true spirit of these artists. He had the opportunity to live and follow them for a whole year (not so easy to get), then through their emotions, disappointments a journey towards new hope (maybe!).

I recommended it because the thing that struck me was a poetic and imagery that reminded me to the characters of Ermanno Olmi movies. His characters and cinema always move to represent something is going to disappear (the end of a homeless man in “The Legend of the Holy Drinker”, and the end of civilization in Lombardia in “The Tree of Wooden Clogs”) through an humanist vision, where human being is at the center of his vision, but not to do social criticism but simply to dig into the intimacy of his characters. I’ve seen the same on the movie The last days of Tacheles: simply the soul of these artists closely with their fears, disappointments and ideals. This docu-film inhabit a strong humanist space.  Note: a wonderful piano soudtrack by Maya Stern enriches the film.

Not surprisingly Olmi started his career as a documentarist.

t2 I’m a creative worker (or also artist for somebody, but It’s a word that really I don’t love so much) and the last part of Casertano’s docu-film,  where you can see the great disillusion of the Tacheles artists the days before the closing, really moved me. I don’t  know if everyone can understand, but It’s s really a tear heart to see the dismantling of a place where you spent half of your life, your ideals and beliefs.

The movie premiere will be in Rome, 22 march at the RIFF FESTIVAL.

I don’t think Tacheles will even be mentioned in history books of art because it did not produce any “great artists” or “iconic works”. But It was an experiment in the power of imagination. May it be restless in memory.

34 thoughts on “TACHELES symbol of a city that no longer exists: BERLIN and Tacheles artists as Ermanno Olmi’s Characters in a docu-film.

  1. I have already written to you for the congratulations about the blog! this movie looks very interesting and thanks for reporting!

  2. great post! It’s possible to have any news about the distribution? or just in Rome is it possible to see the docu-film?

  3. Thanks very much! Regarding movie’s distribution I dont’know anything….you could ask directly to the director, Stefano Casertano,
    this is his website:

  4. tacheles artists as Ermanno Olmi’s characters SOUNDS GOOD!! I ‘m so curious to see this docu-film! thanks for this tip!

  5. grazie monica per gli stimoli che sempre dai!! sarò a roma e sicuramente lo andrò a vedere! avevo ragione che dovevi aprire il blog…i post che metti sono sempre degli ottimi input e poi il tuo punto di vista personale sempre sentito e intelligente!!

  6. wow… I looking forward to know news about this film! great post!

  7. è possibile sapere luogo e giorno della proiezione? grazie monica perchè questo documentario sembra molto nelle mie corde e non voglio perderlo.

    • luogo, data e orario dovrebbero essere questi: Nuovo Cinema Aquila , Via l’Aquila, 68, 00176 Roma, 22 marzo ore 17.
      Sono molto contenta che questo post è quello in assoluto che sta riscuotendo più successo!

  8. really interesting post. I’m a brazilian artist and I live in London now, but I’ve been for a while at the Tacheles years and years ago. Then thanks for reporting this post mainly regarding the artist’s soul. I understand very well what did you say. I would be really interested to see this movie. I hope on some distribution in the u.k.

  9. wow…stunning!

  10. great post! I’ll be in Rome and surely I will go to the premiere!

  11. Hi, just wanted to say, I enjoyed this post. Keep on posting!

  12. so interesting!, I hope on a movie’s distribution not only in italy!

  13. tomorrow let’s go!

  14. ho visto oggi il film, mi ha veramente toccato, anche se non perfetto tecnicamente ma intenso in certi momenti.
    grazie del suggerimento, ne valeva la pena vederlo!

  15. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I truly appreciate your efforts and I will be waiting for your
    next write ups thank you once again.

  16. Great post! really touching! I would be really curious to see this documentary about the artists’ Tacheles?
    Do you know news about distribution?

  17. Tacheles artists as Ermanno Olmi’s Characters sounds good!
    really interesting to see the movie!

  18. I am so pleased to say you this post on my blog got the most successful, many people written and asked me information about the movie; thanks to the power of the internet (and interest about the topic) I will soon be able to give you news regarding a special meeting and docu-film projection in Rome into a such wonderful location called Casa del Cinema!
    meanwhile you have to know the documentary will be screened in competition at Salento Film Festival!stay tuned.

  19. Grande Monica, smuovi sempre le montagne. Quindi ci sarà la possibilità di rivederlo addirittura alla Casa del cinema?

    • si si …io ci provo sempre a smuovere le montagne!spero proprio di si! continua ad essere il post più letto e per cui cui molte persone mi hanno scritto chiedendomi informazioni sul film e interessatissime a vederlo, anche persone residenti in italia ma appassionate di berlino o altri che vi hanno vissuto per un periodo e volevano vedere il film, quindi si spero di darvi presto news e ne sono molto felice. Questo mi fa contenta sia perchè a dimostrazione che davvero attraverso l’era di internet se la comunicazione si usa coi dovuti modi si può arrivare davvero quasi ovunque e poi perchè il tema di questi artisti e il Tacheles vuol dire che ha destato ancora interesse. Riascoltavo ieri proprio il trailer con la musica di Maya Stern, ecco…è qualcosa di meraviglioso ed emozionante. Poi devo dire che mi ci sono ritrovata in questi artisti, non tanto per quello che realizzano, siamo agli antipodi e io non sono mai stata una fautrice e credente di arte squat (anzi!) ma sono le motivazioni che stanno alla base che sono comuni e soprattutto quel comune sentimento di disagio, esclusione, rifiuto che hanno provato e che spesso ho provato anche io e che si prova in questo mestiere, perchè non si trova chi crede in noi, loro idem è come se la città non fosse stata più interessata a loro, è qualcosa di tremendo e molto triste da provare sulla pelle.
      “Il cambiamento, l’innovazione, le creazioni maturano sempre nella sofferenza, nel disagio, nella solitudine. ” citazione da questo interessante articolo di anni fa e che conservo:
      riscriverò un articolo a proposito quando ci sarà l’evento, ….già qui mi sono dilungata troppo presa dalla foga dell’argomento sentito.

      intanto riascoltatevi il trailer è magico!

      • wow…hai scritto cose toccanti che forse solo lontanamente riesco a capire in quanto non è il mio mondo, però si credo di avere capito cosa volevi trasmettere, conoscendoti lo so che per quello in cui credi cerchi di smuovere sempre le montagne, non sempre paga immagino ma alla lunga la qualità e la coerenza di valori si.
        Spero presto quindi di sentire aggiornamenti a riguardo di questa eventuale ulteriore proiezione.
        continua così cara Monica.

  20. bell’articolo, che mi incuriosisce. amo berlino ma anche se non ci vivo spesse volte di passaggio vi ho vissuto. ma quando si ripotrà vedere? ho letto su fb che è stato preso al festival di sheffield e poi sarebbe interessante fare al regista qualche domanda sulla sua esperienza umana che ha vissuto stando vicino a questi artisti.

    • grazie. si ho letto anche io che è stato preso a Sheffield al festival e ne sono molto felice….fare qualche domanda al regista riguardo alla sua esperienza umana e soprattutto cosa gli ha lasciato avrebbe sempre incuriosito anche me, anche io glielo avrei chiesto.

  21. Hi friends, pleasant post and pleasant urging commented at this place, I am truly enjoying by these.

  22. I really like your blog and this post..

  23. It’s great that you are getting thoughts from this post as well
    as from our discussion made at this time.

  24. molto interessante, spero che il film sia distribuito dal momento che ho perso l’occasione di vederlo a roma spero di recuperarlo.

  25. Touche. Sound arguments. Keep up the good effort. excellent put up, very informative.
    I’ve seen the website about the movie and I would be really interesting to see in berlin? any screening in berlin?

  26. do you have any news about opportunity to watch the movie through distribution or screening?

  27. I really like it when people come together and share opinions.
    Great website, continue the good work!

  28. I used to be able to find goood advice from your content.


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