Inert State

Archie Moore, Inert State, 2022, found hardcover books, steel, high-density polyethylene, polyurethane foam, microporous polyolefin silica-based paper, 200 pieces, installation dimensions variable, TCG22632
(photo: Amanda Chen)

Commisioned for Embodied Knowledge: Queensland Contemporary Art at Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane 2022, curated by Ellie Buttrose and Katina Davidson.


Inert State 2022 by Kamilaroi/Bigambul artist Archie Moore presents 200 coroners' reports into Indigenous deaths in custody from across the country. Developed around the 30th anniversary of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody 1987-91, this highly considered installation evokes the tension between the mass of bureaucratic records and the tragedy of individual loss.

The reports date from 2008 onwards: the year of then-Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's Apology to Stolen Generations. Each report represents a single child's or adult's Life and, out of respect their names and case file numbers have been redacted. When a report is not publicly available or is incomplete, a blank document is substituted in its place. The combined volume of floating data allows us to visualise the vast and growing scale of Indigenous Australian peoples' deaths in custody, which reflects systemic neglect.

Inert State draws attention to the fact that these tragic deaths in custody are still ongoing. Moore's installation functions as a temporary memorial, cultivating awareness around the need for institutional change.


» Enquire about this work