“We must bring about the end of the world as we know it.”
House of Fun (2019)
Simon(e) van Saarloos:
I first got to know Francesc Ruiz as my tutor. At the start of our semester, he put a stack of homo-erotic comic books on the table. Some featuring penetrating science-fiction characters, others with quotidian coming-out stories, homophobic truckers having secret sex together, or an erotic magazine that appeared to serve straight readers – thanks to a naked woman on the cover, a love story between a man and a woman but featuring escalating tension and touchy encounters between gays (man/woman/other). Ruiz had found each and every book he brought along in dusty stores or through professional collectors. His monomaniacal quest resulted in a wild collection of LHBTQIA+ cartoons. Ruiz’s work confronts with the fact that there are always countless systems of communication, replete with fugitive messages, unique vocabularies, and essential stories. House of Fun is an artificial shop for comic books. The cartoons, and how they are sold and distributed underground, represent protest, but also the pleasure and enjoyment of the secretive and hidden. Nothing is for sale in this store: House of Fun agitates against the idea that communication must be smooth or accessible. Ruiz is co-founder of the Spanish Institute of Porn Studies, which questions the representation on sexuality.