Schuldfabrik | Julian Hetzel

Wash the pain away!

»Schuld« is a German term that implements two different yet related meanings: »guilt« as a moral duty and »debt« as an economic obligation. Schuldfabrik explores the conflict between these notions and the potential valorization of guilt. At the moment of birth, one is endowed with »luggage«; a patrimony of past, historical or religious events that influence the entire life. Hetzel starts from his very own guilt »package« and expands it to his fellow citizens. In Schuldfabrik he explores various forms of cleansing to wash away the stains of guilt by proposing contemporary forms of indulgence trade. »Schuld« is a resource that can be capitalized.

Schuldfabrik is a performative installation where «guilt» and «debt» are the raw materials that get manufactured, treated and objectified. Schuldfabrik exists as a multi-room parkour; a concept store, a soap factory and a confessionary. The installation has several entrances yet no way out. In Schuldfabrik the collective obligation to remember is put into dialogue with the individual right to forget.

“Although you wash yourself with soap and use an abundance of cleansing powder, the stain of your guilt is still before me”.

* * * * *   Volkskrant 
* * * *   Theaterkrant




Premiere: Septemer 24, 2016. Steirischer Herbst Graz, AT

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

Commissioned by: Steirischer Herbst
Produced by: Ism & Heit
Co-produced by: Steirischer Herbst Graz, SPRING Utrecht, Noorderzon Festival Groningen
Co-presentation: NXTSTP-Network, supported by the Cultural Programm of the European Union