Valienska Magfira

Wash Your Guilt Away

SELF Human Soap, Schuldfabriek by Julian Hetzel

Schuldfabriek is a performative installation that takes place as a luxury cosmetic store. Their best-selling product? Guilt.


Schuldfabrik, by Julian Hetzel - Wolf Silveri, Steirischer Herbst

As a concept designer and artistic director, Julian Hetzel explores ‘Schuld’ in all it’s meanings of guilt and debt. Where guilt refers to our moral duties, debt refers to the more tangible proof of it in such a way like financial obligations. These are notions that we may find familiar when we make choices. For example when we ask ourselves ‘can I be selfish and live with the consequences?’


SELF, Human Soap, Schuldfabriek by Julian Hetzel - Ben and Martin Photography

Schuldfabriek explores these notions as a high-end cosmetic store that performs a religious cleansing ritual with soap made out of human fat sourced from liposuctions. The performative installation tells a metanarrative of a natural inclination that we humans have when it comes to indulgences. Guilt and indulgences in this performance can be represented through multiple concepts: the act of consumerism itself, the expensive portrayal of the store, and the sourced fat from liposuction clients since it is the practice that allows you to your ideal body form.

The team markets the soap SELF Human Soap as a soap 'made by people for people’. Indeed there is a sentimental connotation to that which is often used in ethical trading. However the irony is that it’s literally from human parts that symbolize guilt. But it is exactly this that Julian aims to present; the irony, the unsettling, and of course, the sustainable factor of upcycling guilt.

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Met: Liza Witte