AIDSmonument on the IJ
The AIDSmonument will be placed at the De Ruyterkade Northwest corner of Oosterdokseiland.
This spot gives the artist space – literally and figuratively – and can attract many visitors. The location was chosen based on the votes of website visitors, the opinions of the art experts, and the feasibility regarding zoning.
The IJ has a strong story to tell: symbol for overseas trade, where, besides goods, diseases were exchanged as well, for example: syphilis in the 15th century or the plague in the 17th century. The IJ mirrors – almost tangibly – the international dimension of AIDS, too. It also has symbolic significance in other areas: earlier, the De Ruyterkade was an area for street prostitution, and the methadone bus for drug addicts stopped at this corner. This location is not unknown for gays either: the Eastern part of the quay up to under the train tracks was popular with car cruising and former bar West-Indië at De Ruyterkade 110 was the meeting point of Motor Sportclub Amsterdam for years.
This ‘back of Amsterdam’ has been under development for years and shows the dynamics of the capital: a desolate environment becomes a bustling city area. This picture also fits with AIDS, where with the arrival of HIV inhibitors the sadness of death in many cases gave way to life with HIV.