The 2019 Adelaide Festival will include the opening of a luxe new pop-up store, Self – Human Soap, joining Lush and Jurlique as our go-to soap dispensaries. But this one is a little different...
What if there was a way, akin to carbon trading, of absolving guilt by creating ‘positive outcomes’ for society from the by-products of quick-fix weight loss? Dutch artist Julian Hetzel’s sustainable solution for up-cycling the excesses of the West to the third world is a business that takes the donated fat from liposuction patients and repurposes it into beautiful soap for a discerning clientele. And with every bar purchased the customer is doing good because sale proceeds help wells to be dug in a village in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (accompanied by a bar of soap donated for every bar of soap sold). The human fat is thereby converted into clean drinking water and hygiene: is this a perfect synthesis of third world aid, repurposed first world waste and new economic value from the ancient human pursuit of the body beautiful? Schuldfabrik (the double-edged word “schuld” suggests both “guilt” as a moral duty and “debt” as an economic obligation) is a performative installation guaranteed to leave you speechless.
“Made from people for people” is the by-line.
Seeing is believing. This one is mind-blowing.
You can also see Julian Hetzel speak in the Festival Forums on Wednesday 13 March at 12:30pm.
You will get a well thought-out trip through the pure and impure ingredients of this ingenious mixture.
For the audio version of this event page, click here.
Human fat as a symbol of guilt, used in a product to cleanse yourself. Genius, and cleverly embedded throughout the performance.
Event additional information
Concept & Director Julian Hetzel
Dramaturg Miguel Angel Melgares Production Manager Jasper Hupkens Technical Director Vincent Beune Artistic Collaborator Liza Witte Machine Artist Hannes Waldschütz Special Effects Chaja Hertog Production Assistant Matthias Thünnerhoff 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 Gronigen Co-presented by NXTSTP-Network, supported by the Cultural Programm of the European Union
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