The Future (Past and Present) is Female for ACMI in 2023

Goddess is the Melbourne Winter Masterpiece exhibition

ACMI is set to pay tribute to the formidable women of the screen in next year’s blockbuster: Goddess. Never-before-seen costumes, cinematic treasures, interactive experiences and large-scale projections will unveil, examine and celebrate the changing representation of femininity across film history through provocative on-screen moments.

Presenting the daring, disruptive and defiant characters that have shaped our screen culture, the exhibition invites audiences to celebrate the power and complexity of the goddess on screen.

Goddess will premiere in Melbourne, opening 5 April 2023, before the exhibition tours internationally.

Goddess is a powerful portrait of on-screen personas who have come to define and disrupt the feminine ideal. Going behind the lens, Goddess will also examine the off-screen conversations – and even social rebellions – these portrayals often ignited, from the gender redefining sartorial statements of Marlene Dietrich’s tuxedo in Morocco (1930) and Tilda Swinton’s gender and time switching costumes in Sally Porter’s Orlando (1992), plus honouring works from Hollywood blockbusters to international cinema.

Goddess will consider how screen culture has shaped and challenged audiences’ views of gender and womanhood. The exhibition offers a fresh perspective on some of cinema’s most memorable female characters, from the Blaxploitation work of Pam Grier to Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn. Not to be left out is Icon of the Year, Michelle Yeoh.

photo by Phoebe Powell

ACMI Director of Experience and Engagement, Dr Britt Romstad, said: “The women of Goddess are bold, rebellious and defiant. Their power is expressed in numerous ways – in what they wear, how they move and the stories they tell.

“ACMI’s exhibition honours their influence and daring and explores how they have transformed the face and expectations of on-screen femininity for audiences, time and time again.”

ACMI has recently turned into Wonderland for the Alice in Wonderland exhibition, and the blockbuster exhibition Disney: The Magic of Animation. ACMI transforms the space into an immersive and educational sensation that delights the movie lover in us all.

A vibrant Goddess events program, including late-night exhibition access, performances, talks and film screenings, will be announced in February 2023 when tickets go on sale.

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