The Museum of Modern Art Director Glenn Lowry joined the top brass of the NYPD in Dubai to announce that the New York museum will be mounting an exhibition titled Arrest Me, Daddy curated by members of the New York Police Department. Designed to provide a balanced and nuanced perspective on policing today, the exhibition will be a reimagining of the institution’s vast collection of art to tell a new story of people drawn to protecting others and the people who love them.
“This has been a growing relationship,” explained New York Mayor Eric Adams, who was also in the Emirates for a security conference. “We know the leadership of the museum shares our concern that a new generation isn’t learning about our mission. Police, like artists, are misunderstood, and we know these opportunities will allow us to bring people together under the banner of art.”
The exhibition offers five new commissions among a rehanging of over a century of contemporary and modern art, including a large painting of the Blue Lives Matter flag that is in dialogue with the long history of appropriation art and a series of digital works that focus on the celebrity of police officers who have gone viral.
“We are working with the officers to complicate the conversation and recontextualize those who have been wronged by the media,” said a coalition of curators wearing balaclavas that spoke at the event but refused to give their names. “We feel like we’ve been given complete independence to tell the story fully.” They went on to talk about the natural synergy between curatorial practice and detective work in particular.
“We’re always ensuring that the rich and powerful are feeling safe and that the art is properly contextualized and handled just like the police, who are contextualizing crime and offering new ideas about care around criminality,” said a curator wearing a face mask and beanie.
The exhibition will feature at least 40 performances, 13 film screenings, and 4,500 arrests of visitors, who will be selected at random for searches and one-on-one tours with police officers who will arrest and charge them and keep them in detention for three days with no access to food, water, toilets, or legal counsel.