Archie Moore: kith and kin

Archie Moore: kith and kin

Australia Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

Archie Moore / Fredrick Noel Clevens in kith and kin, 2024. Digitally altered found photograph. Graphic design: Žiga Testen and Stuart Geddes. © the artist. Courtesy the artist and The Commercial.

February 9, 2024
Archie Moore
kith and kin
April 20–November 24, 2024
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Australia Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
Giardini di Castello
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Archie Moore will transform the Australia Pavilion with his artwork that immerses the viewer in personal and universal stories by reflecting on Australia’s 254 year history within the 65,000+ year context of his Aboriginal family heritage.

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.” —Archie Moore

Creative Australia has today unveiled the title and first details of Archie Moore’s presentation at the 60th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale, curated by Ellie Buttrose. Titled kith and kin, Moore’s exhibition in the Australia Pavilion will be a powerful and poignant exploration of his Kamilaroi, Bigambul, British, and Scottish heritage. Moore is only the second First Nations artist to have a solo presentation in the Australia Pavilion. On view from April 20 to November 24, 2024, kith and kin will mark the 25th anniversary of Australia’s participation in the Biennale Arte 2024.

For three decades, Moore (b. 1970, l. Redlands, Queensland) has created thought-provoking art that bridges the personal and the political. His work is rooted in experiences around identity and heritage, and speaks to wider themes of memory, racism, and the universality of the human family. In kith and kin, Moore will reflect on the nature and strength of Indigenous kinship, issues of surveillance and incarceration, the enduring impact of colonisation and First Nations language revival.

The guiding principle in kith and kin is that relationality is the root of identity. The exhibition draws upon Moore’s extensive research and unravels how his family history is entwined with the chronicles of the continent and more recently the nation of Australia. By tracing his Kamilaroi and Bigambul family back 65,000+ years, Moore asserts Indigenous sovereignty. Although First Nations peoples have been threatened by invasion, massacre, disease, and dispossession, Moore celebrates their continuing vitality. While the stories in kith and kin are often specific to the artist’s family, they mirror the narratives of indigenous and colonised people throughout the world.

Language is a recurring theme in the artist’s practice. Moore is attentive to the elimination of First Nations Australian languages, acknowledging the pernicious policies and social circumstances that have given rise to this loss. Due to colonial dispossession Moore’s mother knew little of her ancestral languages to pass on to her son. Moore has researched Gamilaraay (the language of the Kamilaroi Nation) and Bigambul terms and incorporated them into his artwork. He does this to signpost First Nations language revival movements taking place throughout the world.

“The phrase ‘kith and kin’ simply means friends and family but an earlier Old English definition for Kith dates from the 1300s and originally meant ‘countrymen’ (kith also meant ‘one’s native land’) and Kin: ‘family members’. These words gradually took on the present looser sense: friends and family. Many Indigenous Australians, especially those who grew up on Country, see the land and other living things as part of their kinship system—the land itself can be a mentor, teacher, parent to a child. The sense of belonging involves everyone and everything and First Nations peoples of Australia, which, like most indigenous cultures, is deeply rooted in our sacred landscape from birth until death. I was interested in the phrase as it aptly describes the artwork in the pavilion, but I was also interested in the Old English meaning of the words as it feels more like a First Nations understanding of attachment to place, people and time.” — Archie Moore

Australia’s history is inextricably linked with the carceral system. British colonisation was established with penal colonies from 1788, and today First Nations peoples in Australia are statistically some of the most incarcerated people globally. kith and kin examines this history via specific examples from Moore’s genealogy: his British and Scottish great-great-grandfather arrived as a convict in 1820; while his Kamilaroi and Bigambul great uncle was imprisoned in the notorious Boggo Road Gaol. With respect and solemnity, kith and kin will make visible the impact that the incarceration of Indigenous Australians has on familial connections.

kith and kin physically immerses the audiences in the world of Archie Moore and lays bare how we are all entangled within his web of connections.” — Ellie Buttrose, curator.

Read more on the Creative Australia website or visit

For international media enquiries, please contact: Rel Hayman, Pelham Communications, T: +44 (0)20 8969 3959 / rel [​at​]

For media enquiries within Australia and New Zealand, please contact: Claire Martin, ARTICULATE, T: +61 (0) 414 437 588 / claire [​at​]

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Australia Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
February 9, 2024

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