Julian Hetzel [NL/DE]

The Benefactor

The Benefactor
The Benefactor


2000 payments

When the first plans for cultural cuts in the Netherlands became clear in 2010, the politician Frits Bolkestein protested. ‘I am against cuts to art and culture. I want to see more, not less money for art and culture. And I want to finance that difference by reducing foreign aid.’

Inspired by this suggestion, Julian Hetzel developed a project about a radical alternative use of money earmarked for culture. He had received a gift of €2000 to develop a project. He donated that budget to a starving child in Africa and made the gift into a ‘2000-day intercontinental performance’, transferring 1 euro each day. Although this is a transaction of unequal value, all parties ultimately benefit from it.

Hetzel operates on the fine line between life and art, and asks questions about success and about hunger, about gifts and investments, about foreign aid and about art.

• Julian Hetzel worked as a designer for several years before embarking on a performing arts course at Dasarts in Amsterdam. Since then, he has been creating performances for theatre and for public space and has been performing with his music band Pentatones.


On art and society

It is already clear that this government is making deep cuts to culture. This has only served to sharpen the debate on ‘art and society’. Elsewhere in Europe, governments have also reacted to the economic crisis by scrapping cultural subsidies.

Apart from the arts organisations, it is primarily individual artists who have fallen victim to this. The precarious, often international constructions of the subsidising bodies and co-producers that make their work possible are threatened with collapse as a result of the cuts. How will these (mainly young) artists manage to finance their work in future? In which sections of society will they still find support for what they are making?

At the start of this ‘season of cuts’, we give two young theatre-makers the opportunity to talk about their search for funding and about their view of ‘art and society’: Maike Lond and Julian Hetzel.

concept, text, performance, direction Julian Hetzel | dramaturgical advice Igor Dobricic | artistic advice Siegmar Zacharias | production DasArts support the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science