Archie Moore: kith and kin / Australian Pavilion at Venice Art Biennale 2024

Archie Moore: kith and kin / Australian Pavilion at Venice Art Biennale 2024. April 19, 2024.
Official description: First Nations peoples of Australia are some of the oldest continuous living cultures on Earth, and statistically one of the most incarcerated. Archie Moore’s kith and kin is both evidence and reminder of these facts. The sprawling chalk on blackboard mural traces his Kamilaroi and Bigambul relations back 65,000+ years, including the common ancestors of all humans. Handwritten across the walls and ceiling, the family tree engulfs the audience. The education materials refer to the transmission of knowledge and what is left out of history. Kamilaroi and Bigambul words in the drawing assert Indigenous language revival initiatives, while holes signal colonial invasions, massacres, diseases and displacement that sever familial ties. The central reflection pool is also a void; a memorial to First Nations deaths in state custody attended by piles of coroners’ reports. Archie adds archival records referencing kin to demonstrate how colonial laws and government policies have long been imposed upon First Nations peoples. These bureaucratic papers documenting tragedies are cradled by the reflection of the family tree in the surrounding water. The artist uses his family history to make systemic issues uncomfortably tangible to audiences while providing a prescient reminder that we are all kin.

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Posted in: art, La Biennale di Venezia, no comment, Venice