Archie Moore: Founding Fathers

WHEN : 1st - 15th July
WHERE : The Walls

Founding Fathers explores monuments and questions the truth of these ‘messengers from the past’. It ruminates on the way objects emulate culturally-specific narratives and contribute to memory-making. This exhibition presents 10 renovated monuments that consider the possibility of incommensurable historical and human realities; that idealisation and demonisation are not so far apart, and the faults, gaps and blemishes that ‘our’ narratives encompass, particularly to Indigenous Australians, are as old as the monument itself. It overwrites the already overwritten, inscribing a new narrative on what was the erasure of indigenous memorials through the imposition of colonialist monuments on a space that was construed as empty. Once they were on pedestals high above you; now they are looked down upon, reassessed with stories they thought they could bury forever. That primary function of a monument, to perpetuate and consolidate political power through large-scale, indestructible structures, is re-examined here. These figurines are made from porcelain and sit upon a lightweight, plastic Roman column – easy to topple over and smash into many pieces. Both figurine and column, in this way, are frauds: although they appear strong and robust, as though made from bronze and stone, they are in fact as fragile as the myths they wish to convey.

Archie Moore (b. 1970, Toowoomba, lives Brisbane) works across media in portrayals of self and divulged national histories. He questions key signifiers of identity – skin, language, smell, food, dwelling, politics, religion, flags – and points to errors in foundational intercultural knowledge, asking what are the outcomes of misinformation. His practice is embedded in Aboriginal politics and the wider concerns of racism. Uncertainty is a recurrent theme pertaining to his paternal Kamilaroi heritage. He completed his Bachelor of Visual Arts at Queensland University of Technology in 1998. 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. Since then he has exhibited nationally and internationally including 20th Biennale of Sydney in 2016 , The National at Carriageworks 2017, Light From Light in Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou and currently Defying Empire: 3rd National Indigenous Art Triennial at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.

Exhibition Opening: 1st July, 5:00 – 8:00pm

John Graham, who’s a Kombumerri man of the Yugambeh people, will give a ‘Well Come’ To Country.