First Nations artist to represent Australia at the Venice Biennale 2024

Archie Moore’s exhibition will be curated by Ellie Buttrose.

Words: Erin Irwin

2024 will see the 60th edition of the Venice Biennale, one of the biggest events of the international art world’s calendar. It will also mark the 25th year that Australia has been represented. The Australia Council has now announced that it has selected artist Archie Moore to exhibit at the Australian Pavilion in the Giardini della Biennale precinct.

The Kamilaroi/Bigambul artist, currently based in Queensland, approaches both personal and political subjects in his interdisciplinary practice, often addressing Australian history and the ongoing effects of colonialism. While deeply rooted in discourses that are uniquely Australian and the artist’s own experience, the issues he examines raise significant questions about justice that are pertinent internationally.

“I would like to express my deep gratitude to all involved in making my team’s proposal the successful project for 2024”, says the artist, “thank you all for your tremendous belief in my proposed work for the Australia Pavilion at the Venice Biennale behemoth”.

Moore was the recipient of the 2018 Creative Industries Faculty Outstanding Alumni Award by the Queensland University of Technology, Queensland, and received the Millennial Anna & Gordon Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarship in 2001. He has presented solo shows at Griffith University Art Museum, Brisbane, the University of New South Wales Galleries, Sydney, and Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne.

The Biennale show will be curated by Ellie Buttrose, who is currently the Curator of Contemporary Australian Art at the Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA), Brisbane. She has been working with QAGOMA since 2015, having curated a vast variety of shows for the institution, as well as for the Brisbane International Film Festival. Buttrose has previously curated exhibitions that have presented Moore’s work, including his installation Inert State in Embodied Knowledge: Queensland Contemporary Art in 2022.

Of the upcoming exhibition, Buttrose states that “I feel honoured that Archie has entrusted me to curate such a significant exhibition. Archie is singular in his ability to engage audiences through memories and familial stories in artworks that stimulate discussions about how we bear the responsibility for social change. Exhibiting at the Venice Biennale provides a timely and critical opportunity for Archie’s practice, offering an artistic outcome that will emotionally connect international audiences with the imperative act of truth-telling.”

“Artistically adroit and politically incisive Archie is uniquely placed to confront Australia’s past and evocatively assert Indigenous sovereignty on a worldwide scale”, says Buttrose, “to have an esteemed First Nations artist such as Archie Moore represent Australia on this global platform is something that all Australians can take pride in and celebrate”.

The Venice Biennale 2024 will be held 20 April – 24 November. Moore’s work will be presented at QAGOMA following the closing of the Biennale.

This article was posted 15 February 2023.

Image: Archie Moore testing Inert State 2022. Courtesy: the artist and QAGOMA, Brisbane. Photography: Chloë Callistemon; Ellie Buttrose, Curator, Contemporary Australian Art, Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art. Courtesy: QAGOMA, Brisbane. Photography: Joe Ruckli.

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