From Sharne Wolff…
The visual manifestations of the politics of skin, Archie Moore’s multiple image installation entitled Blood Fraction is one of only two works in this powerful new exhibition. Comprising a wall-size compilation of 10 x 10 images, the artist’s self-portrait appears 100 times – each superimposed with text. A few steps back for the viewer and it’s apparent that there’s a certain formality in Moore’s use of ‘colour’. His face in the portraits appears darkest in the top left corner (Full Blood) and evolves to lightest shade (or Hectoroon) at bottom right. At the same time, assuming the role of scientist or anthropologist, Moore’s partially invented and Latinised nomenclature travels in an orderly direction across each row of photographs, descending downward in strict classification. An editioned digital video work shares the same title and proceeds through the photographic series over a two-minute period.
Although there’s nothing peculiarly Australian about discrimination, coming after the 2011 racial vilification case against commentator Andrew Bolt – where Bolt questioned the motives of some fairer-skinned Aboriginal Australians – Moore’s work has particular resonance. As Moore notes in his artist statement, that for many, being “black or blak… is to have a single drop of Aboriginal blood… Like the observation that it doesn’t matter how much milk you add to your tea, it’s still considered tea.” As the Judge observed in the Bolt case, people in our society “should be free to fully identify with their race without fear of public disdain or loss of esteem for so identifying”.
Until 24 October
The Commercial, Redfern
Pic: Archie Moore Blood Fraction 2015 [installation view], one hundred individually framed pigment UltraChrome ink prints on Epson Archival Matte Paper each 28 x 22.8 x 3.4 cm (framed), overall installed dimension 325 x 275 x 3.4 cm. Courtesy the artist and The Commercial Gallery.