open Fri–Sun, 12–24h
Art is our first language. Throughout the year, Het HEM presents a range of temporary art programmes as well as more permanent art installations.
Simon(e) van Saarloos
“We must bring about the end of the world as we know it.”
There is always music to listen to at Het HEM, with programmes focused on experimental ways to create, present and experience music in the building through listening sessions, live shows, and musical artis-in-residence initiatives.
Come by for a drink and a bite, wine and dine at our restaurant, or settle down on our sunny terrace on the Costa del Zaano.
Het HEM loves books. During your visit, come lose yourself in the library's rich selection or discover new favourites in the SANZ Shop.
Situated in a former munitions factory, Het HEM is a new home for contemporary culture.
The building's industrial design and our experimental art programme bring ambience and meaning to every event.
“Culture happens in communities”
These were the words we used to welcome the first visitors. In our raw but cosy factory we aimed to provide an encounter for artists and audiences with different backgrounds and interests, a cultural meeting point where existing frameworks or established views could be questioned and social issues could be explored on the basis of artistic experiences.
As a young cultural institution, we wanted to challenge the idea that art is not for everyone and asked ourselves aloud what art in today’s world needs to flourish.
Driven by this devotion we developed three programmes – called Chapters – with Guests who each embodied a distinguished position within our society: Chapter 1NE: Edson Sabajo & Guillaume Schmidt, Chapter 2WO: Nicolás Jaar & The Shock Forest Group and Chapter 3HREE: Maarten Spruyt. Each chapter, in their own way, focused on coming to grips with global issues that we as individuals have so little control over. Together, these three chapters caught the attention of over 35,000 visitors, and the excitement and curiosity of the public, has inspired us to expand our ambition and vision in the coming years.
However, Het HEM has not escaped the consequences of the recent pandemic and associated economic downturn. As a young organization, still in development, we do have the ingenuity but not the resources to move on as is, even though we are not lacking in ideas. Concretely, this means we are forced to temporarily change Het HEM’s financial model and curatorial programme, so we can ensure the institution's continuation.
Over the past months we have suspended the exhibition programme, and we're happy to encounter spontaneous interventions and collaborations with different partners. This story between chapters, named Chapter 3HREE and a 1/2 enabled us to clear the space and open up the building to like-minded parties who have experienced similar setbacks due to the crisis: conferences, talks, music and film nights. The extensive 9,000 m2 of our building offers excellent opportunities to facilitate a rich variety of cultural activities based on the safe 1.5 meter guideline.
The measures which were announced in the press conference on Tuesday 13 October led us to close our doors early this year. The plans for the future of Het HEM have not yet been realized a 100%, but we are positive we will be able to open again next year with a new Chapter.