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HEDEN: Humor

An evening about art, activism and humor



Ruiterskwartier 41, 8911 BP Leeuwarden

do, 04 nov. 2021 - 19.30 / 22.00

HEDEN: Humor

In this new edition of our one-evening-expo-and-talkshow HEDEN, we will engage in conversation with artists Alina Lupu, Willem de Haan, Joyce Overheul and scientist Sibe Doosje about the subject of ‘humor’. How can we employ humor in the smartest way possible to achieve something, to unite us, or to adress important issues?

Research has revealed that the laugh that follows tickling, is an expression of the smallest level of pain a human kan experience. When things hurt a little bit, we laugh. According to culture critic Terry Eagleton we laugh about “The fact that things go wrong, things are off.”, or that for a moment the world isn’t like we know it.

Humor and tragedy are inseparably connected to each other. So it’s not a surprise that the number of jokes increase in times of crisis, and it’s also not crazy to worry about ‘not being allowed to joke about anything anymore.’ To be able to laugh about a thing, is to be able to live with that thing. And besides, nothing is funny if it isn’t a sensitive matter.

Often humor addresses the things that are most important to us, and makes those things a bit lighter and easier to talk about. But if it just sticks with laughing, it can also confirm stereotypes. Are you questioning or justifying something?

If employed fittingly, humor has the power to emancipate. The philosopher Henri Bergson claims in a famous essay that: “laughing is being engaged with reality.” Though in practice humor and activism rarely go hand-in-hand. Because laughing is an expression of the ability to put things into perspective. And precisely with radical activists usually that’s – not without reason – not present. But also in activism humor can play a big and connecting role. Because: Laughing unites.

We are happy that the event can take place physically! To celebrate the entrance is free. Get your tickets here 

Please note: For this event a corona entry code is required. Watch it online through VHDG TV

Design: Michiel Teeuw

HEDEN Since 2014 we’ve been organizing HEDEN: one-evening-expo-and-talkshow with three artists and a lecturer of the world of science or philosophy around a contemporary subject. HEDEN is perfectly accessible for a broad audience without (fore)knowledge of contemporary art. Host Rutger Middendorp takes the audience along into conversations with the artists and lecturer. HEDEN encourages critical thinking and connects visual art with science and philosophy: to critically keep assessing the world through the angle of art, with the audience as an active conversation partner.