2024 marks the 25th edition of Australia’s participation in the Venice Biennale, the world’s oldest and arguably biggest international contemporary visual art event.
Based in Redlands, Queensland, Archie Moore is a contemporary artist whose career has spanned more than 25 years. The Kamilaroi/Bigambul artist works across a range of media to create artworks that explore both the personal and political.
While his artistic practice reflects his personal background and confronts Australia’s national history, the powerful picture that it paints about the need for justice can be extrapolated worldwide.
“Thank you all for your tremendous belief in my proposed work for the Australia Pavilion at the Venice Biennale behemoth,” said Moore. “I would like to express my deep gratitude to all involved in making my team’s proposal the successful project for 2024.”
Curator and critic Ellie Buttrose serves as the Curator of Contemporary Australian Art at the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane. “I feel honoured that Archie has entrusted me to curate such a significant exhibition,” said Buttrose.
“Archie is singular in his ability to engage audiences on an emotional level through memories and familial stories in artworks that stimulate discussion 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.”
“I am also delighted to be working with our expert team of contributors and the Australia Council to deliver a momentous project by an artist I have long esteemed.”
“Artistically adroit and politically incisive, Archie is uniquely placed to confront Australia’s past and assert Indigenous sovereignty on a worldwide scale within the Australia Pavilion between 20 April – 24 November 2024,” said Buttrose.
“This exhibition comes during a significant milestone as the Australia Council marks 50 years of dedicated investment to First Nations arts and culture – and 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,” said Australia Council Executive Director First Nations Arts and Culture Franchesca Cubillo.
The successful artistic team was selected based on the advice of a panel of independent industry advisors including national and international visual arts experts.
The Australia Council wishes to thank industry advisors Stephen Gilchrist, Carol Yinghua Lu, Victoria Lynn, Hammad Nasar and Colin Walker for their considered deliberation in reaching this decision.
The Australia Council wishes to acknowledge and congratulate all the artistic teams shortlisted in this highly competitive process:
• Tony Albert, Liz Nowell and Hetti Perkins
• Brook Andrew, Atong Atem, Lucienne Rickard, Justin Shoulder, Latai Taumoepeau and Rebecca Coates
• Khaled Sabsabi and Michael Dagostino
• Yasmin Smith and Kathryn Weir
Australia’s representation within the Venice Biennale has been philanthropically supported since the early 1980s. In 2024, this co-investment approach is led by the Australia Council Chair and Chair of the Venice Biennale Ambassadors, Mr Robert Morgan.
“Australia’s participation at the Venice Biennale is a wonderful example of what can be achieved by successfully bringing together public and private investment,” said Morgan.
“The project builds a like-minded community of advocates championing the bold and ambitious intentions of what is unique to contemporary visual arts in Australia and provides a platform to showcase this to the world.”
Mr Morgan is joined by fellow Ambassadors from across Australia championing private investment support for this project, including Alexandra Dimos, Russell James OAM, Marie-Louise Theile, Alenka Tindale and Dr Terry Wu.
The Australia Council thanks the Ambassadors for their strategic oversight and generous support of the 2024 exhibition.
“I announced the Government’s support for the new pavilion for the Venice Biennale back in 2013 when the decision was made to build it,” said Federal Minister for the Arts, the Hon Tony Burke MP.
“You only have to look at the installation work of Archie Moore to imagine what a perfect choice this is for Australia’s exhibition at the Venice Biennale and how perfect the Australian pavilion is to host this work.”
“The Australian Government committed in our National Cultural Policy – Revive – to put First Nations at the centre of Australia’s cultural heart.”
“Opportunities like these help us to understand more about ourselves as Australians, more about each other, and help the world get to know us,” said Minister Burke.
The Australia Council will continue its role as the commissioner for Australia in the category of National Participation and work closely with the artistic team to produce the exhibition in the Australia Pavilion.
The Council will also work closely with the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane to facilitate an Australian presentation of the exhibition following the conclusion of the Venice Biennale 2024.
The Venice Biennale runs 20 April – 24 November 2024. For more information, visit: www.australiacouncil.gov.au for details.
Image: Archie Moore – photo by Natalie Thomas