Sculpting Fear

Photo: Martin Wickenhaeuser Photo by Esther_Hertog Photo by Esther_Hertog Photo by Esther_Hertog Photo by Esther_Hertog Photo by Esther_Hertog Photo by Hanne Nijhuis Photo by Hanne Nijhuis Photo by Esther_Hertog Performance Trailer by Esther Hertog Process Documentation: Audience Ambassadors Project Documentation by Sterre van Wijk Photo by Hanne Nijhuis

Here we are. We crossed the end. There is an app for everything, for the weather forecast, for the next date, for controlling the pulse, for the way home, for counting the steps. Nobody needs to get lost anymore. Nobody needs to get wet. Nobody needs to be alone. Nobody needs to know. Everything is under control. All data – big or small – are in the cloud. Everything is transparent yet nothing can be seen.

Sculpting Fear consists of two related yet separate parts: a performance (for the stage) and a public intervention (for the streets of a city). Both are complementary elements that tackle different aspects of the matter.


We live in a time of scenarios and simulations. In an increasingly complex world we are asking for transparency, for clarification and simplicity. We are afraid of what we don’t know, of what we don’t see. We look away from what is in front of our very eyes since we are facing the black mirror of the screen. It is the fear of the unknown, of the stranger, of the Other, of the future that makes us shiver. In this project Julian Hetzel highlights the dark side of the human condition while his performers explore the physicality of fear.

Sculpting Fear is a highly visual piece that uses ephemeral structures in order to give shape to the formless. A starting point for the performance is the omnipresent but invisible data cloud. The concept of the cloud links aspects from religion, technology and nature. Hetzel generates storms and works with weather conditions towards primal fear in a vaporized scenography. Sculpting fear takes the spectator where all colors agree – in the dark.


In the public interventions Hetzel creates a rupture in the accelerated flow of the city life. Please take a look at the interventions page.