Immersive Guilt Factories
Schütz, Theresa – 2019
In this chapter, the author draws attention to a particular historical moment and its consequences, which carry significance for the topic of Schuld as both guilt and debt. Various strategies for involving the audience within the unfolding performance often lead to a situational (re)production of emotions like shame, guilt, or a sense of responsibility. Julian Hetzel’s Schuldfabrik/Guilt Factory begins with audience members entering what seems to be a pop-up store, which suggests that the installation belongs to the genre of fake institutions. Besides the fabrication of the concrete product, Hetzel’s Schuldfabrik/Guilt Factory opens up an obstacle course through several practices and feelings of guilt, all of which are deeply rooted in Christian culture and which, at the same time, build the foundation of contemporary western neoliberalism. It is important to differentiate between guilt as a relatively abstract moral term and the feeling of guilt as a social emotion.