Porsche Australia & New Zealand – woman with drive: Driven women are a key part of Porsche, which is why Porsche Cars Australia is proud to be Lead Exhibition Partner for GODDESS, ACMI’s fascinating and powerful look into women in cinema. Dr Britt Romstad, ACMI’s Director of Experience and Engagement, discusses this groundbreaking exhibition.
What is GODDESS and what is the exhibition’s aim?
In ACMI’s upcoming blockbuster exhibition GODDESS, we celebrate the screen goddesses who are bold, defiant and rebellious, who have challenged the status quo, pushed boundaries and impacted the industry.
GODDESS will be Melbourne’s must-see exhibition of 2023 and will include iconic costumes and over 150 pieces of content (including sketches, films and objects), many of which have never been seen before in Australia.
The exhibition will highlight groundbreaking achievements alongside lesser-known facts and stories – from the renegade women of silent cinema to the actresses who are challenging our ideas of womanhood today – and act as a springboard to prompt a re-evaluation of some of the things we thought we knew about women in film.
Why is it important for GODDESS to celebrate boundary-pushing women from the world of cinema?
Part of the story of women’s empowerment over the last 100 years has been in our ability to find and celebrate role models who show a pathway through traditional and restrictive gendered narratives. Sometimes this can take the shape of outright disruption of normative gender roles and sometimes the resistance takes more subtle forms.
We want to use this exhibition as an opportunity to celebrate that collective power and defy the hegemony of Hollywood by drawing connections between countries and across cultures, including Australia, UK, India, Hong Kong and Japan.
Why have you chosen to focus on the 25+ daring, disruptive and defiant moments in the exhibition?
The exhibition focuses on a number of carefully curated stories that have resonated with audiences across film history and across different cultures. These have been organised into five thematic sections that reveal the role gender, and its representation on screen, have played in our understanding of femininity – for better or for worse. These stories situate the films, the actors and characters spotlighted in the exhibition within the broader social context and demonstrate the impact these moments had both on and off screen.
Who is GODDESS ideally for?
The exhibition has a number of layers, so it will appeal to a broad range of people, whether they’re cultural connoisseurs, fashion and costume fanatics, movie fans or people who love stories, ideas and seeing things from a different perspective.
Is there one particular actor you think has had the biggest impact in challenging and shaping our views of women through film?
The exhibition really creates an opportunity to celebrate the collective power of women on screen, rather than any one single actor. In fact, the exhibition shows that for as long as women have been in front of the camera and behind it, they have been in dialogue with each other. As much as anything else, this conversation between screen goddesses – this call and response across history – is a key theme of the exhibition and has been used by women as a powerful agent of disruption.
GODDESS will be Melbourne’s must-see exhibition
Why is Porsche a natural fit as the Lead Exhibition Partner for GODDESS?
As a company committed to celebrating the achievements of women and empowering them to reach their full potential, Porsche Cars Australia is a natural fit to support GODDESS as Lead Exhibition Partner. As global leaders in our fields, ACMI and Porsche are well aligned to collaborate on a partnership that showcases our shared expertise in technology, design and innovation, and our joint purpose to provide exceptional experiences.
The automotive world is undergoing its own important changes, driven by the need for greater environmental consideration. In the worlds of cinema and television, what’s driving the changes we’re currently seeing with how women are represented?
GODDESS arrives, quite deliberately, at a time when the screen industry is undergoing a long-awaited reckoning, and the exhibition charts the evolution of women’s on-screen representation, reframing the stars and stories we think we know. Women as active agents, telling their own stories and determining their own representation is a central pillar of GODDESS.
As an influential medium, film has had lasting effects on different communities. What lasting impressions would you like GODDESS to have on visitors?
Most importantly, we want visitors to take pleasure in celebrating these incredible women and hearing their stories. While the exhibition grapples with some important ideas, the gallery itself will be absolutely breathtaking, and the objects and costumes will surprise and delight.
Beyond this, we really hope that visitors will leave the exhibition and associated programmes better equipped to participate in conversations about women in screen culture and that they’re inspired to revisit and rewatch the stories, actors and characters explored in the exhibition.
23.3 – 20.4 kWh/100 km
439 – 502 km