About the part that art plays in a globalising society

Framer Framed

Film still SILENCE = DEATH (1989), dir. Rosa von Praunheim

16 May 2019
19:00 - 21:00


In this sixth edition of the Queer Series*, ‘SILENCE = DEATH: Reflections on artistic efforts in relation to the HIV/Aids crisis’, we revisit the time of the HIV/Aids crisis, and discuss the role the artistic community took upon itself in order to fight for equality. The event focuses specifically on the cities of Amsterdam, Berlin and New York City. We will screen the documentary SILENCE=DEATH, followed by a conversation with Martijn van Nieuwenhuyzen and Anne Krul!

From the 1980s the HIV/Aids epidemic started raging across the world, resulting in many deaths and a big setback for the emancipation of the queer community. The crisis was characterised by social stigmas for people infected with the virus and the community at large, ignorance of the government in many countries and a slow response by the pharmaceutical industry. Many activist movements strove in different ways for more equality, including a number of artists and curators, which resulted in a manifold artistic discourse on the HIV/Aids crisis. Although the crisis in the western part of the world belongs to the recent past, HIV/Aids and its social stigmas unfortunately do not, making it an ever-relevant topic.

Tonight we will go back to the height of crisis, and show the 1989 documentary ‘SILENCE = DEATH’ by the German director Rosa von Praunheim. The essayistic video includes contributions from artists working in New York City, such as David Wojnarowicz, Keith Haring and Diamanda Galas, who respond to the crisis at that time. After that, Léon Kruijswijk will go into conversation with Martijn van Nieuwenhuyzen and Anne Krul. What artistic efforts have been made in the Netherlands in order to draw public attention to the diseases and its tragic consequences? What work remains to be done today?


Martijn van Nieuwenhuyzen is a senior curator at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. He collaborates with emerging and established artists in a wide range of media. He curated exhibitions with artists such as Gabriel Orozco, Paul Chan, Aernout Mik, Wolfgang Tillmans, Amar Kanwar, Danh Vo, Jennifer Tee, Ed Atkins (with Beatrix Ruf), Isa Genzken (with Beatrix Ruf), Carlos Motta, and Raquel van Haver.
Van Nieuwenhuyzen also curated queer-related exhibitions, such as the group show From the Corner of the Eye (1998) and the Commitment exhibition series (with Geurt Imanse, early 1990s) that marked World AIDS Day. Van Nieuwenhuyzen worked as director at the SMBA (Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam, 1999/2006) and as Associate Director of Exhibitions at the ICA (Institute of Contemporary Arts, London 2000/03). He is also a writer, editor, photographer and frequently asked advisor.

Anne Krul is a visual artist, writer, poet and activist who was active at ZAMI, a self-organising initiative for and by black, migrant and refugee women aiming to strengthen awareness and the identity of black, migrant and refugee women in The Netherlands. She was also member of Strange Fruit the Real, an organisation for gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans youth from different cultural backgrounds. She recently participated in the Diasporic Self: Black Togetherness as Lingua Franca exhibition at Framer Framed (Dec 2018 – Feb 2019).

Léon Kruijswijk is a freelance curator, organising exhibitions and events on the intersection of queer and gender issues, activism, post-colonialism and institutional critique. He worked among others for Framer Framed, De School Amsterdam, Galerie Ron Mandos and individual artists. In 2018/19 he did a curatorial fellowship at KW Institute for Contemporary Art (Berlin) in the framework of the recent exhibitions on David Wojnarowicz and Frank Wagner.

Location: Framer Framed

Entrance: Free


This event is supported by the Mondriaan Fund as part of Léon Kruijswijk’s curatorial fellowship at KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin.

*The Queer Series is a series of public events organised with the aim to highlight, contextualise as well as question queer elements of artworks, art collections and art archives. In 2016, the series was founded at Framer Framed and curated by Bas Hendrikx and Léon Kruijswijk. This specific event is curated by Léon.

Art and Activism / Amsterdam Noord / Queer /


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Martijn van Nieuwenhuyzen

Fotograaf en kunsthistoricus

Anne Krul


Léon Kruijswijk

Freelance cultural producer