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.
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.