Queensland Artist Archie Moore and Qagoma Curator Ellie Buttrose to Represent Australia at Venice Biennale in 2024

Queensland artist Archie Moore and Curator of Contemporary Australian Art, Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA), Ellie Buttrose, have been selected as the artist and curator for Australia’s representation at the 60th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia (Biennale Arte) in 2024.

QAGOMA Director Chris Saines said he was thrilled about the recent announcement made by the Australia Council, the Commissioner and producer for the Australia Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, where Archie Moore’s major new project curated by Ellie Buttrose will be presented within the historic Giardini della Biennale precinct.

‘This announcement is momentous for Archie and Ellie and for Queensland, and I am delighted to confirm that following its international showing Archie’s presentation at the Venice Biennale will tour to QAGOMA. Archie Moore’s generous and productive approach to storytelling about the impact of Australia’s colonial and post-colonial project on Australia’s First Nations peoples is well deserving of international recognition,’ said Mr Saines.

Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch welcomed the opportunity to showcase Queensland artist Archie Moore (Kamilaroi/Bigambul) and QAGOMA Curator Ellie Buttrose on the international stage at one of the world’s most prestigious events.

‘Every Queenslander can be extremely proud of this achievement, which speaks to the incredibly high regard that both Archie and Ellie are held in the wider visual arts sector,’ Minister Enoch said.

‘Queensland’s representation of Australia at the Venice Biennale in 2024 reinforces the talent of our artists and arts workers and places a prominent First Nations artist at the centre of the global contemporary art scene.

‘This remarkable opportunity will go far in realising the vision of Creative Together, the Queensland Government’s 10-year arts and cultural strategy, and its priorities to elevate First Nations arts, share our stories and celebrate our storytellers.

‘The Queensland Government’s ongoing investment in QAGOMA supports the Gallery to present some of the most exciting, inspiring and important local, national and international artists.

‘Focusing on our creative future will ensure Queensland embraces the opportunities of the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games when our local stories and unique arts and cultural experiences will again share the world spotlight,’ Minister Enoch said.

Ellie Buttrose is a longstanding member of the curatorial department at QAGOMA. She has been part of the Gallery’s curatorial team on the flagship Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art series of exhibitions since 2015; and has curated many QAGOMA exhibitions and cinema programs including ‘Cut it: Collage to Meme’ 2020, ‘Work, Work, Work’ 2019, ‘Limitless Horizon: Vertical Perspective’ 2017, ‘Harvest’ 2014, ‘Divided Selves’ 2014, and ‘The Otolith Group’ 2013. She was managing curator for ‘Cindy Sherman’ 2016 (with Dr Miranda Wallace) and ‘Tracy Moffatt: Spirited’ 2014 (with Kathryn Weir). Buttrose was also guest curator for the 2020, 2019 and 2018 Brisbane International Film Festival (BIFF) presented by QAGOMA and partner venues.

Born in 1970, Archie Moore (Kamilaroi/Bigambul people) lives and works in Redlands, Queensland. He works across a range of media and is well-known for his research-driven practice that often combines historical examinations with personal reflections to address the lived experience of Indigenous Australians.

From 13 August 2022 to 22 January 2023 QAGOMA presented Moore’s major commission Inert State 2022 in the exhibition ‘Embodied Knowledge: Queensland Contemporary Art’ co-curated by Ellie and QAGOMA’s Curator of Indigenous Australian Art, Katina Davidson. The installation, presented in the Queensland Art Gallery’s Watermall, comprised Parliamentary proceedings and coroner’s reports and reflected on the 30th anniversary of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody 1987-1991 and the need for institutional change.

Mr Saines said he was pleased to announce that with support of QAGOMA’s Future Collective through the QAGOMA Foundation, Moore’s United Neytions 2014/2017 is proposed for acquisition into the Gallery’s Collection. Simple in their designs but complicated by the politics of their iconography, these ‘false flags’ present a powerful and compelling contribution to the discourse around national and cultural symbols in Australia.

‘United Neytions joins a series of artworks entitled On a Mission from God 2012 by Moore in the QAGOMA Collection, which reconstruct nine important mission churches from Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander reserves from the pages of miniature bibles. These artworks examine the supporting role these churches played in the government’s control and assimilation of Indigenous Australian people and in the destruction of culture,’ Mr Saines said.

Moore completed his Bachelor of Visual Arts at Queensland University of Technology in 1998. He was awarded the 2018 Creative Industries Faculty Outstanding Alumni Award by Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane. In 2001, he was awarded the Millennial Anne & Gordon Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarship which enabled him to study at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague.

Recent solo exhibitions of Moore’s practice include: ‘Archie Moore 1970 – 2018′, Griffith University Art Museum, Brisbane, in 2018 and ‘The Colour Line: Archie Moore & W.E.B Du Bois’ at the University of New South Wales Galleries, Sydney, in 2021; and ‘Archie Moore — Dwelling (Victorian Issue)’, Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne, 2022.

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