Gran Fury. Let the Record Show … 1987. New Museum, New York City.
"Probably best known for the SILENCE = DEATH graphic that came to define the AIDS/HIV activist movement in the 1980s and early 1990s, Gran Fury was a group of artists and visual provocateurs affiliated with the New York City-based ACT-UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power).
The graphic was created as a reaction to a 1986 New York Times editorial by notorious archconservative William F. Buckley, who proposed that all persons with AIDS “should be tattooed in the upper forearm, to protect common-needle users, and on the buttocks, to protect the victimization of other homosexuals.” Gran Fury’s response was an installation in the window of the New Museum, then in a storefront on lower Broadway in Soho, consisting of a neon version the SILENCE = DEATH graphic and photos of some of the persons and entities responsible for aggravating the AIDS crisis (including Buckley himself). The neon piece became part of the New Museum’s permanent collection, and the SILENCE = DEATH graphic was widely disseminated through t-shirts, wheatpastes, and other printed ephemera.”
-John d’Addario, "AIDS, Art and Activism: Remembering Gran Fury"