• julian hetzel

#empathyporn 03: Encounters

#empathyporn 03: Encounters

Frascati Producties / Julian Hetzel (DE / NL)



Encounter 03: Economy of empathy / The pain market

Encounter 03  takes a look behind the screens of the international art-market and opens a space to discuss and question the capitalization of empathy and capitalization of – so called - political art. Through short lectures the invited guests share thoughts on socio-political engaged work and the field it takes place. They will critically reflect upon the triangle activism, artivism and opportunism. Two experienced curators reflect on their position in the field and discuss questions like: what’s the function of art, the role of the so called “politically engaged” artist and what is the function of the institutions presenting these works?

In addition to that Encounter 03 facilitate a discourse around the subject that has a tremendous topicality today: ownership in relation to appropriation. Together with the audience, the guests examine the way images and stories are created, distributed and consumed. Who has the right to share these stories? Who owns them? Who should profit from these narratives being multiplied and distributed?

With: Maria Hlavajova, Rainer Hofmann, Lara Staal, Julian Hetzel

Maria Hlavajova is founding General and Artistic Director of BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht, since 2000. In 2008–2016 she was Research and Artistic Director of FORMER WEST, which she initiated and developed as an internationally collaborative research, education, publication, and exhibition project. Hlavajova has instigated and (co-)organized numerous projects at BAK and beyond, including the series Propositions for Non-Fascist Living (2017–ongoing), Future Vocabularies (2014–2017), New World Academy (with artist Jonas Staal, 2013–2016), among many other international research projects. She also regularly edits and contributes to various critical readers and catalogues, and lectures on contemporary art internationally.

In addition, Hlavajova is co-founder (with Kathrin Rhomberg) of the tranzit network, a foundation that supports exchange and contemporary art practices in Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia.

Rainer Hofmann is since January 2013 artistic director of SPRING Performing Arts Festival Utrecht, The Netherlands. Since 2010 he was running Huis en Festival a/d Werf Utrecht, which merged with Springdance Festival into SPRING. He has worked in Switzerland, Germany, Holland, Austria and England. He was dramaturg for Theaterhaus Gessnerallee Zürich, Theater Neumarkt Zürich, Schauspiel Köln and Stadttheater Bern, director (Theater Winkelwiese Zürich, Schauspiel Köln) as well as free-lancing writer and dramaturg. In 2008 he was curator for 7. Festival Politik im Freien Theater („politics in off theatre“) in Cologne. in 2010 he was head of production at Theater der Welt Festival in Essen and Mülheim/Ruhr. Furthermore he worked for media like Westdeutscher Rundfunk, Theater der Zeit or Kölner Stadtrevue and in committees and juries.

Lara Staal is an artist-curator, researcher and writer. She studied theatre pedagogy at ArtEZ in Arnhem and theatre science & dramaturgy at the University of Amsterdam. Between 2013 and 2016 she was working as a programmer at Frascati Theatre in which alliances were created between art and other fields on the basis of shared urgencies. Since 2017 she has been working as a freelance curator in the performing arts and has developed works such as "The Evening of the Anger" (together with rapper Gideon Everduim) and "Europe on Trial" (together with human rights activist Yoonis Osman Nuur). At the moment she works as a freelance artist-curator at Münchner Kammerspiele and NTGent. In addition to her work as curator, she writes for journals such as "rekto:verso", "Theatermaker", "Mister Motley" and "Etcetera". 


Julian Hetzel studied visual communication at the Bauhaus University Weimar, then relocated to Amsterdam to continue his education on the master’s course of the AHK DasArts. During these studies, he stood out with hotly debated performances such as PrENTER (2008), which was shown at the ARS Electronica festival 2008 in Linz, and The Benefactor (2011). In 2016 he set up Ism & Heit as a structure for the development of his artistic work, from a base in Utrecht. For Frascati Producties, he created an adaptation of his graduation show I’m Not Here, Says The Void and in 2017 The Automated Sniper. Hetzel is now also a frequently seen guest at international festivals. Julian Hetzel is also the founder and drummer of the band Pentatones.


  •  All Inclusive (Campo & Frascati Producties, 2018)
  •  The Automated Sniper (Frascati Producties and Ism & Heit, 2017)
  •  Schuldfabrik (Steirischer Herbst Graz and Ism & Heit, 2016)
  •  Sculpting Fear (SPRING Utrecht, 2015)
  •  STILL – The Economy of Waiting (SPRING Utrecht, 2014)
  •  I’m Not Here Says the Void (Frascati Producties & DasArts, 2013)
  •  The Benefactor (DasArts, 2011)


Encounters is part of #empathyporn, a four-day program around the work of Julian Hetzel. Every day one ticket gives access to the full programme of that evening.