ACMI’s Goddess Exhibition Unleashes Power, Glamour & Rebellion in Melbourne

This winter ACMI celebrates women on screen at the world premiere 2023 Melbourne Winter Masterpieces Exhibition of Goddess: Power, Glamour, Rebellion. 

Featuring never-before-seen costumes, film clips, interactive experiences and large-scale projections, this ACMI-curated exhibition examines and celebrates the changing representation of femininity across screen history.

I was really impressed by the exhibition – take your family, take your friends, and most of all take your tweens and teens!


ACMI Melbourne Winter Masterpieces Exhibition 2023

From iconic outfits worn by Marlene Dietrich, Marilyn Monroe, Geena Davis and Margot Robbie, to sketches and cinematic clips, the exhibition does a fantastic job celebrating the fierce women and gender-transcending superstars who fought the system and took creative control of their roles.


While the costumes are probably the most eye-catching aspect to the exhibition, I was most interested by how Goddess examined the off-screen movements that the women on film inspired. Think the gender redefining fashion of Marlene Dietrich (women in trousers, gasp!), Marilyn Monroe using her star power to advocate for better working conditions and Orlando portrayed by Tilda Swinton. 


I was impressed that there was an effort made to explore the intersectionality of feminism, including voices from First Nations women and presentations around Michelle Yeoh, Anna May Wong, Dorothy Dandridge and Pam Grier. Because representation matters!


The exhibition is arranged thematically rather than chronologically, which means that you can move to another area if one area is particularly busy. The only exception is the last exhibit, which has a ‘goodbye’ theme. 


The exhibition takes approximately 60-90 minutes to complete if you read most of the plaques and watch most of the clips. To absorb the full context of the exhibition you have to read the information, so I think the exhibition is best suited for kids 8+ years who can read text (that’s geared for adults) independently.  


Some of the content contains trigger warnings, so consider that if you’re bringing young children. 


There are limited interactive elements which also means that it may not be as interesting for younger kids. You’re given an ACMI Lens at the entrance so you can save the displays that capture your attention, plus an AI photobooth style experience where you can add fun elements to your selfie. 


Alongside the exhibition is the Goddess events program, including late-night exhibition access, performances, talks and film screenings.


Goddess: Power, Glamour, Rebellion is showing at ACMI Melbourne from 5 April 2023 until Sunday 1 October 2023. Don’t miss the exhibition before it tours internationally!


Visit ACMI’s free exhibition The Story of the Moving Image

Family friendly restaurants in Melbourne CBD

Visit the nearby Artplay Playground

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cropped Kristyna Hess Lockdown Portraits x

Joyce Watts is a former intellectual property, IT and media lawyer turned serial entrepreneur.

As well as being the founder of TOT: HOT OR NOT she helps businesses with their SEO, email marketing & social media as BrightSmart.com.au; she owns an online bike store CycleStyle.com.au and develops and produces creative experiences for families via WheelieGoodFun.com. She used to publish another popular lifestyle and food blog called MEL: HOT OR NOT The decisive guide to Melbourne.

She lives in inner-city Melbourne with her husband, two children and seven bikes.

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We pay our respect to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.

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