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Gran Fury

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Gran Fury was an activist/artist collective that came together in 1988. The group was formed as a spin-off from the original group ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power]. They took the name Gran Fury as it was the specific Plymouth model used by the New York Police Department. The name was also meant to reference their anger towards the AIDS pandemic. Gran Fury acted as ACT UP's unofficial propaganda ministry, creating work that used the same strategies as advertising to reach a wider audience.

Gran Fury did a number of works representing their outrage towards the AIDS pandemic, as well as to point out the governments lack of action towards finding a cure or informing the public. Formed as an affinity group within ACT UP to create the New Museum installation, "LET THE RECORD SHOW", founding members continued working together as an art collective. The installation included a neon version of the SIlence=Death Project's already existing symbol, SILENCE=DEATH, however, underneath the pink triangle there are silhouettes of what Douglas Crimp refers to as "AIDS criminals" - people who were perpetuating silence surrounding or misrepresentations of AIDS. At the foot of each silhouette is a quote from each person impressed on a block of cement that shows their view on AIDS. The last block is for the US president at the time, Ronald Reagan. His slab of concrete was left blank to represent his years of silence on the AIDS crisis.

They also aimed to push various individuals such as Ronald Reagan, New York Mayor at the time Ed Koch, and John Cardinal O'Connor to address the AIDS pandemic in more practical, open way, as well as to inform the public on the importance of safer sex and clean needles. Often their works originally acted as posters and were used in collaboration with the still existing group ACT UP. By the early and mid-1990's the group had found it hard to make simple works surrounding the AIDS issue, and had starting using more text which had made it hard for the group to shock and relay their messages as effectively as before. They also found the issue much more complex and finally, in 1994, after the death of member and close friend Mark Simpson, the group disbanded.

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