Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Kunsthaus Tacheles

Imagine my surprise to open up the NY Times today and find an article about Berlin's Kunsthaus Tacheles!
The article makes the point, using Tacheles' imminent downfall as an example, that Berlin is slowly being sanitized and stripped of all the gritty alternativism that makes it so great, a fact I have myself lamented in this blog. While in Berlin, people often pointed out to me that Berlin is a complete island in Germany--no other city in Germany is at all similar. Berlin is a kind of fluke in the German cultural landscape, and now that it's the capital city, the rest of Germany is seeping into it. A local artist is quoted as saying, "These Bonn people [i.e. the federal government] want a peaceful city, and it just doesn’t work. On the one hand they want to be the cultural capital, but on the other hand they knock everything down that contributes to that."
Yup, pretty much.
Another of the people interviewed compares the cleaning up of Berlin to that of New York. While still undeniably vibrant artistically, NY is in my experience more smoothed over and institutionalized than Berlin--at least for now.
Undoubtedly these things go in cycles. Berlin's been happening recently. It can't last forever, unfortunately. That kind of creative atmosphere, as I noted recently in a post on antlervision about Detroit, can only thrive when bureaucracy and authority aren't paying too close attention. Eventually, they try to regulate it and it falls apart.
I wonder what city will be the next big thing?

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