Let's suppose that Moabit is the place to be. The quality that should determine such state of affairs is precisely the one giving us a feeling that „it could be just any city“. We shall call this decisive ingredient „benevolent neutrality of the indistinct“.
The narrative leading our argument is titled „Distinct Inside”. It invites a meditation on the city's life apart of its ongoing predicament, i.e. turning of the centre, its most urban asset, into a theme park. The text attempts to give the still persisting zones of surprise, labyrinthine reformulations and straightforward density their due affirmation, considering them from the point of view of their poetic power. It’s a power to reach the neutrum, this calming voice, touch and vision that go on uninterrupted – up to where the culture reinvents itself.
This story will be paralleled by one that takes the image as a point of departure. And not just any image, but the painting. It does so by analyzing the figure of the square as it appears in the works of Michael Hazell, an Australian artist living and working in Berlin. Here, writing as the organization the square’s disappearance develops the rudimentary notion of the indistinct residue. The gravity of the painting's tactile dimension and its aura of the “real thing” provide a limit that serves as a means of orientation in approaching the neutral. Its meeting point with the city happens in the portal of an art exhibition.
Michael Hazell, “The Actor From a Good Family”, oil on linen, undated
Michael Hazell, “The Happy Thief With No Hope”, oil on linen, 2016