Archie Moore and W.E.B Du Bois
The Colour Line
‘The Colour Line’ brings together a presentation of new and recent works by Kamilaroi/Brisbane artist Archie Moore in dialogue with infographics by African American scholar and activist W.E.B Du Bois (1868–1963).
Archie Moore’s ongoing interests include key signifiers of identity—skin, language, smell, home, flags—as well as the borders of intercultural understanding and misunderstanding, including the broader concerns of racism. For this project, Moore reflects on ideas of empirical evidence from the perspective of Indigenous Australia. Moore’s new commission, ‘Graph of Perennial Disadvantage’ 2020, begins by revisiting The Australian Constitution of 1901 that stated that Aboriginal people were to be no part of statistical information. Alongside this new work, Moore will recreate and update his ‘Family Tree’ 2018 wall drawing, a sprawling chalkboard style genealogy that complicates historical diagrams drawn up by anthropologists. The photographic series ‘Blood Fraction’ 2015 is also presented, exploring the politics of skin and the words used to classify, quantify and assign meaning based on race.
For the American section of the Paris Exposition Universelle in 1900, Du Bois led the creation of over 60 hand-drawn charts, maps and infographics, visualising data on the economic and social progress of African Americans since Emancipation. These extraordinary examples of 19th-century data visualisation are at once a social study of populations in Georgia and throughout the United States and a pioneering model of reimagining data as a form of resistance and protest.
Curator: José Da Silva
Presented in association with Sydney Festival and with the support of the UNSW Galleries Commissioners Circle.