ARCHIE MOORE

Archie Moore, Blood Fraction (video), 2015, digital video, 2:05 minutes duration, edition 5 + 2 AP, TCG20357
collection: edition 1/5 - The University of Queensland Art Museum, Brisbane; edition 2/5 - National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

Artist statement about Blood Fraction: "To be considered Aboriginal by white commentators like Andrew Bolt, how much of one’s ancestry must be Indigenous? Do you have to be “full blood” and living in “the bush’ traditionally, align yourself with the “flora and fauna” and not live in the city with a full-time job? Being black or blak, as ascertained by Urban Aboriginal people, is to have a single drop of Aboriginal blood, what was known in the Southern States of America as the “One-drop rule”. Like the observation that it doesn’t matter how much milk you add to your tea, it’s still considered tea. It is the position of hyperdescent that Aboriginal people ascribe to as opposed to some white hypodescentists who prefer an assignment to what they think is the inferior or subordinate group. My real self is somewhere in the 70’s in my work, maybe it is heptaconkaihenaroon. I first realised what position I was in due to schoolyard racial slurs, I didn’t realise I was “black” before then or if it was even a desired thing to be. Some of my friends would then console me with “you’re not a real boong”. When I was at the end of my teens I would get told I was black and asked by others, “Why you ashamed to be a Murri?”  I would sometimes be questioned by Aboriginal activists if I was black enough due to a noncommittal political stance. I see my work as some kind of sliding scale where I shift up and down depending on where I am at historically, psychologically and geographically, or it could be parallel worlds that I exist in, right now and how asocial it is to quantify race at all."

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