Julian Hetzel (NL/DE)


[Guilt Factory]

Performance / Installation / Meeting point
Graz / Arrival Zone

How do we profit from debt? Can we somehow get rid of it? In an installative trail over several rooms, Julian Hetzel investigates the concept of debt. Strikingly and surprisingly, he demonstrates the different types of indulgence trade between beauty clinic and soap production.


The Benefactor

Arrival Zone




Opening hours

Sat 24/09, So 25/09, 14.00 – 21.00,
Wed 28/09, Thu 29/09, Fri 30/09, 16.00 – 21.00,
Sat 01/10, 14.00 – 21.00 &
Sun 02/10, 14.00 – 17.00

The last performance run starts one hour before closing time.

Volksgartenstraße 4-6

8 € Single ticket
12 € Combined ticket “The Benefactor” & “Schuldfabrik”


German and English language

Schuld und Schulden, guilt and debts – these terms are inextricably linked: Guilt as a moral obligation, debt as an economic obligation mutually duplicate each other. Julian Hetzel’s “Schuldfabrik” examines this conflict and the fact that even at birth we receive a rucksack full of historical or religious events as baggage – a collective guilt for something that we ourselves have not caused.

Starting with his own, very personal “debt package”, for steirischer herbst, Hetzel builds a trail with different options for exploring the various aspects of debt – and perhaps even for paying it off. The audience enters a concept store, a beauty clinic, a confessional and a soap factory. Can you simply cleanse yourself of pain, or do you have to feel guilty for it afterwards? The raw materials used in this performative installation are guilt and debt, processed, produced and made into objects. There are several ways in, but no way out: Once you go into the production methods of the “Schuldfabrik”, there are no more excuses.

Utrecht-based German artist Julian Hetzel works at the interface between theatre, performance and visual art. He combines documentary approaches with political dimensions. He was invited by steirischer herbst to develop the “Schuldfabrik” project. Playful, provocative and always surprising, he brings the collective obligation to remember, into a dialogue with the individual right to forget.

Concept & Direction Julian Hetzel
With Orion Maxted, Hennie Spronk, Revé Terborg, Waltraud Brauner, Ulli Lang, Hrvoje Progorelic, Daniel Riedl
Dramaturg Miguel Angel Melgares
Production Manager Jasper Hupkens
Technical Director Willem Verheij
Technical Assistant Tijmen Willemsen
Artistic Collaborator Liza Witte
Machine Artist Hannes Waldschütz
Special Effects Chaja Hertog
Design Peim, Deimion van der Sloot
Photo Ben and Martin Photography, Jenny Cremer
Production Advice Matthias Thünnerhoff

Commissioned by steirischer herbst
Production ism & heit
Co-produced by steirischer herbst, Noorderzon Festival Groningen, SPRING Festival Utrecht
Co-presented by NXTSTP, with the support of the Culture Programme of the European Union

Project supporter Performing Arts Fund NL

Julian Hetzel (NL/DE)

Julian Hetzel, born in the Black Forest, Germany, in 1981, currently lives in Utrecht/Netherlands, where he works as a freelance artist. Hetzel studied Visual Communication at the Bauhaus University in Weimar until 2008, where he launched the audiovisual studio project ”YouAreWatchingUs” in 2005. The following year he created the media art project ”preENTER”, that was performed at the ARS Electronica in 2008, among other venues, and the ”Monokultur” performance shown at Deutsches Nationaltheater Weimar. After graduating, Hetzel continued training at the DasArts art academy in Amsterdam. His diploma performance ”I’m Not Here Says The Void” premièred at Theater Frascati in Amsterdam in 2014. Hetzel, who in addition to working as a multidisciplinary artist is also a member of the electropop band Pentatones, will also be visiting Graz for the first time in 2016: his performance ”The Benefactor” will be showing at steirischer herbst along with his latest piece ”Schuldfabrik”, that is set to première at the festival.