From the archive: Wies Smals

From the archive: Wies Smals

de Appel, Prins Hendrikkade 142, Amsterdam

From 3 until 29 March de Appel arts centre presents archive materials from the founding period of de Appel arts centre. In November 2015 de Appel arts centre celebrates its 40th anniversary. Leading up to the festivities, its very beginning is illuminated through the presentation of various materials from the collection.

De Appel opens its doors in 1974 in warehouse De Appel on the Brouwersgracht in Amsterdam. During that year Wies Smals, the founder of de Appel, examines how she will shape this new art space. Smals invites three performance artists to experiment with the space: Alison Knowles, Barbara Bloom en Ben d‘Armagnac with Gerrit Dekker.

In January 1975 Smals travels through Europe to meet different artists and curators. She visits exhibitions and goes to art openings in France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Austria. Smals has meetings with Gina Pane, Daniel Buren, Luciano Castelli en Hermann Nitsch - Germano Celant, François Pluchart, Harald Szeemann en Lea Vergine. During this research voyage she becomes increasingly interested in performances and invites a number of artists who appear in de Appel in 1975 and 1976. Smals establishes contact with Studio Oppenheim and Studio Art/Tapes/22 and begins with building up a video collection with mostly registrations of performances. On April 4, 1975 de Appel officially starts with the Swiss artist Urs Lüthi and his "Amsterdam Performance."

In Locussolus you see the first invitations de Appel sent out. Smals early notebooks and other archival materials from that initial period. In the video document “Video Kunstenaars” Smals talks about video and how performance artists use this new medium.

is a space for staging de Appel arts centre’s living past and lively present. Unravelling and dynamic, in black and white or full-colour HD, LocusSolus shows the fundaments of de Appel arts centre, her surroundings, the now and everything thereafter, to deepen and intensify her future.

LocusSolus is located in the basement (Expo S) of de Appel arts centre and open during opening hours of the exhibitions.

With thanks to Marga van Mechelen and her book on the history of de Appel arts centre: DE APPEL performances, installations, video, projects 1

See also