Australia Pavilion 2024 Pays Homage to First Nations
Marking Australia's 25th year at the Venice Biennale, Archie Moore's Pavilion will engage viewers with ideas of Indigenous kinship, surveillance and incarceration, and First Nations language revival.
Left to right: Ellie Buttrose; Archie Moore. Photo: Rhett Hammerton (2024).
On Thursday, Australia Pavilion commissioner Creative Australia announced the details of Kamilaroi and Bigambul artist Archie Moore's exhibition at the 60th Venice Biennale (20 April–24 November 2024), which takes on the theme 'Foreigners Everywhere'.
The Brisbane-based artist's project marks the 25th anniversary of Australia's participation in the Biennale and only the second Indigenous artist to represent Australia.
Curated by Ellie Buttrose, Moore's expansive kith and kin will immerse viewers in personal and universal stories, reflecting on the artist's family heritage within both Australia's 254-year colonial history and 65,000+ years of Indigenous population.
Moore says: 'the phrase "kith and kin" simply means friends and family but an earlier Old English definition dates from the 1300s, with kith originally meaning "countrymen" (and also "one's native land") and kin, "family members". These words gradually took on the present looser sense: friends and family.'
Moore's presentation explores his Kamilaroi, Bigambul, British, and Scottish ancestry through these connections to land and family. His meticulous and ongoing research into family histories acknowledges a loss of culture and language through colonisation and its dispossessing, but also seeks to reclaim and revive these stories and language.
Moore elaborates: 'kith and kin is a holographic map of relations which connects life and death, people and places, circular and linear time, everywhere and everywhen, to a site for quiet reflection and remembrance'.
Moore's search for answers through archives and living memory is a search for the missing and absent but also an acknowledgement of First Nations peoples' resilience and continuing presence. —[O]