The Benefactor

Photo by Hannes Waldschütz Photo by: Steirischer Herbst Graz Herbst Remixed

The Benefactor is a project about success and hunger. It is a lecture- performance on gifts, investments, parasitism and the state of the arts – developed and performed by Julian Hetzel.

“First of all, I support this new cabinet. But I disagree with them on one account: we cannot cut arts funding . Rather, we should raise its budget. But to pay for the arts’ budget, we should first  cut back on development aid!” — Frits Bolkestein

Inspired by this statement by Dutch politician Frits Bolkestein, which refers to the arts funding cuts in the Netherlands, Julian Hetzel developed a project about the radical alternative use of cultural money. He donated his entire project budget to a starving child in Africa, as a form of a child-sponsorship. Simultaneously he framed his donation, a daily transfer of one euro, as a piece of art, as a “durational intercontinental performance of 2000 days”. Though it is a transaction of unequal value, it is of great benefit to all parties involved. As such, Julian Hetzel explores the thin line between life and art and raises questions about the ethics of success in our society.

How to turn development aid into art?
How to turn art into development aid?
How to develop art?
How to turn?