Necessary Force: Art in the Police State

On view in the Main Gallery
September 11 – December 12, 2015
with an opening reception, Friday, September 11, 6 – 8 pm
preceded by a members’ preview at 5 pm*

Curated by Karen Fiss and Kymberly Pinder

Necessary Force: Art in the Police State reflects an urgent need to speak to life in a society that is increasingly policed on many levels. By addressing the systemic forces that continue to undermine civil rights in our society, the curators and artists hope to encourage critical thinking and dialogue around the complex history of law enforcement and violence in the United States. The contemporary works in the exhibition address a range of issues including surveillance, incarceration, drug abuse, inadequate mental health care, gun violence, racial profiling, as well as the power of collective protest and collective healing. The exhibition also examines the role of photography in shaping public opinion as well as the longer-term matter of our shared history—how we come to know and remember it. The inclusion of seminal photographs documenting the civil rights movement from the museum’s own collection highlights the dialogue these contemporary artists are having with this powerful visual legacy. In conjunction with the exhibit, the museum will host a diverse program of public events with the participation of artists, scholars, law enforcement and local organizations to discuss some of the foremost civil rights issues facing our communities and nation today.

Participating artists: ASCO/Harry Gamboa, Josh Begley, Max King Cap, Nick Cave, Center for Tactical Magic, Nani Chacon, Mel Chin, Larry Clark, Melvin Edwards, Harun Farocki, Anita Luttrell Fields, Jacque Fragua, Nicholas Herrera, Laura Kurgan, Danny Lyon, Jeremy Mende, Charles Moore, Otabenga Jones & Associates, Trevor Paglen, David Reinfurt, Dread Scott, Hito Steyerl, LaShawnda Crowe Storm, David Taylor, Charlene Teters, Hank Willis Thomas, Kara Tromp, William Karl Valentine, Nafis M. White, Bernard Williams, Andrew Wilson.

Note to New Mexico visitors: a thematically related exhibition is currently on display at The Monroe Gallery in Santa Fe until September 27: The Long Road: From Selma To Ferguson.  

<strong>Larry Clark</strong> (American, b. 1943), <em>Police Informer</em>, from the portfolio Tulsa, 1971, printed 1980, Gelatin silver print, 13 1/8 x 9 3/4 inches, Gift of John T. Marvin, University of New Mexico Art Museum, 83.71.44 , © Larry Clark; Courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine, New York

Larry Clark (American, b. 1943), Police Informer, from the portfolio Tulsa, 1971, printed 1980, Gelatin silver print, 13 1/8 x 9 3/4 inches, Gift of John T. Marvin, University of New Mexico Art Museum, 83.71.44 , © Larry Clark; Courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine, New York

<strong>Melvin Edwards</strong> (American, b. 1937), <em>Freedom Fighter</em>, 1992, Welded steel, 13 x 10 1/2 x 8 inches, Courtesy Alexander Gray Associates, New York, Melvin Edwards / Artist’s Rights Society (ARS), New York

Melvin Edwards (American, b. 1937), Freedom Fighter, 1992, Welded steel, 13 x 10 1/2 x 8 inches, Courtesy Alexander Gray Associates, New York, Melvin Edwards / Artist’s Rights Society (ARS), New York

<strong>Charles Moore</strong>, <em>Firemen turn fire hoses on demonstrators, Birmingham, Alabama</em>, 1963, Courtesy Monroe Gallery of Photography

Charles Moore, Firemen turn fire hoses on demonstrators, Birmingham, Alabama, 1963, Courtesy Monroe Gallery of Photography

<b>Danny Lyon</b> (American, b. 1942), <em>USA. Huntsville, Texas. 1968. Ferguson is a prison farm for young men, ages 17 to 21. The line.</em>, Gelatin silver print, 8 3/16 x 12 1/4 inches , Courtesy of the Fine Arts Library, University of New Mexico, © Danny Lyon and Magnum Photos</em></b>

Danny Lyon (American, b. 1942), USA. Huntsville, Texas. 1968. Ferguson is a prison farm for young men, ages 17 to 21. The line., Gelatin silver print, 8 3/16 x 12 1/4 inches , Courtesy of the Fine Arts Library, University of New Mexico, © Danny Lyon and Magnum Photos

Main Image:
Nick Cave (American, b. 1959), Soundsuit, 1991, Photograph. Courtesy of Jack Shainman Gallery, New York, NY
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