Michael Gibbs Let it keep secrets

Michael Gibbs, Let it keep secrets

Opening: november 3, 5 pm
de Appel, Prins Hendrikkade 142, Amsterdam

Michael Gibbs "Short Story", 2 June 1976 at de Appel

On Thursday November 3 de Appel opens "Let it keep secrets" by Michael Gibbs (1949-2009). In this presentation de Appel presents a selection of Gibb's self-published magazines and website which present a testament to Gibbs' love for language, literature and experimental art.

Michael Gibbs was a pioneer in the field of visual poetry, deploying language as a visual means. Starting out as an English Literature student in England, he was active in the Fluxus movement from 1968 on. While still a student, he launched his art magazine ‘Kontexts’, which included interviews with William Burroughs and Brion Gysin, among others. He lived and worked in Amsterdam from 1974 until his untimely death.

De Appel focuses on the artists' magazines Kontexts Magazin and Artzien, as well as a website featuring critical art on and about the Internet titled ‘Why Not Sneeze?’. These self-published magazines and virtual platform present a testament to Gibbs' love for language, literature and experimental art. He offered the artists and writers in his international network a platform to develop their texts and initiatives, in order to present them to the public. His connection to the Appel is highlighted through material and works from the archives of Michael Gibbs and de Appel arts centre.

During the Museum Night on November 5, students of the Image and Language department of the Rietveld Academy will recite poems and performances in de Appel as a response to the work of Michael Gibbs. Language is material, bodies become words, and through interventions the spaces of de Appel will be reactivated.

Composed by Nell Donkers.
With special thanks to: Eva Gonggrijp, David Gibbs, Henriëtte Dingemans, Pim Boer and Jacquine van Elsberg.

This presentation is part of the manifestation "Let it keep secrets" taking place from October 21 till December 18 in different locations in Amsterdam. Read more about the full programme:

The manifestation is made possible with the support by the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts, the Mondriaan Fund and Soledad Senlle.

de Appel is closed for contruction between 7 and 14 November. It is possible to visit the exhibition in this period during office hourse and on appointment. Call to +31 20 6255651 or email

See also