Scrap is no Art

A couple of days ago I had lunch across the street from good old Tachels, the former squat that became famous in the 90s. After a rather traumatic experience I had organizing an exhibition there back in 2001, I did not follow the development of the situation there during the last couple of years.

Waiting for my food and a not having anything to read with me a picked up one of the Tacheles Programs (I never see them anywhere else. Is it possible that they only manage to distribute it in their direct neighborhood?). The first sentence that caught my attention translates “scrap and bankruptcy aren’t art”. In a short text on the front page Tacheles e.V. distances itself from the scrap in their backyard. They claim that Fundus, the investor who bought the building a long time ago, tries to damage the reputation of Tacheles and teams up with small-time criminals to do so. According to Tacheles e.V. “Drug dealers and worse” use the territory for “deployment”.

I don’t know the latest details about the Fundus / Tacheles case, but using the kind of terminology Techeles e.V. uses on their flyer is certainly not helpful. It is of course fine to make a conflict public, even toward tourists who can not be familiar with the situation, only that by talking about scrap and art in one phrase one implies a fascist understanding of art. Of course scrap can be art and wether the the scrap in the back yard of Tacheles is art or not and wether anyone claims it is art or not has nothing to do with the conflict they are having. I can see that Tacheles e.V. wants to provoke an get attention with this kind os a statement. Probably they also thought that distancing themselves from scrap as art and from the junkyard next to the building (which probably adds quite a bit to the touristic potential of the place) they can show that they are a serious organization that should get permanent funding from the city. This kind of opportunism mixed with the paranoia that sees conspiracy seems to have become the mode of operation at Tacheles.

Tacheles Programm Juni 2008