From The Other Side at ACCA

Sat 9th December, 2023 – Sun 3rd March, 2024
Main exhibition gallery, ACCA
111 Sturt Street, Southbank
19 women and gender-diverse artists reclaim the idea of the “monstrous-feminine” (a term coined to interrogate the representation of women in horror – the “witch”, the “hag”, the “monstrous mother” and the “possessed woman”) in a major new exhibition opening at ACCA.

Horror is about more than cheap thrills and scary movies. In many forms of art, it provides a language through which to communicate the collective anxieties and fears of our times. From the Other Side, a major new exhibition curated by Elyse Goldfinch and Jessica Clark, opening at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA) on Saturday December 9, brings together 19 Australian and international artists to consider the capacity of horror to transgress and destabilise power.

With a mix of historical and contemporary works, From the Other Side centres on the idea of the “monstrous-feminine”, a term coined in the 1990s by cultural theorist Barbara Creed to interrogate the representation of women in horror. The exhibition questions the often harmful representations of female monsters – the “witch", the “hag”, the “monstrous mother” and the “possessed woman” – and looks at the ways female artists and storytellers have reclaimed these figures over time.

Among the historical works is the full series of Maria Kozic’s Calendar Girls (1999), a series of 12 large-scale portraits of women whose projected expressions conceal a darker backstory. It’s the first time the full series has been shown together since it was first exhibited in 1999. Also in the exhibition is a series of three historical prints from Louise Bourgeois, connected through themes of the body, psyche and womanhood, and including her iconic print Spider (1995).

More recent works include Tracey Moffat’s large-scale projection A Haunting (2021–23), a meditation on the precarity of our times featuring an abandoned house lit with pulsing red lights in a desolate landscape. And a new work from Mia Boe references two classic Australian films made in the same year – Wake in Fright (1971) and Walkabout (1971) – examining Indigenous and settler perspectives on survival in the Australian landscape.

Other artists in the exhibition include Naomi Blacklock, Cybele Cox, Karla Dickens, Lonnie Hutchinson, Naomi Kantjuriny, Minyoung Kim, Jemima Lucas, Clare Milledge, SJ Norman, Suzan Pitt, Julia Robinson, Marianna Simnett, Heather B Swann, Kellie Wells and Zamara Zamara.

From The Other Side is free to visit in ACCA’s main exhibition gallery until Sunday March 3, 2024.

This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with ACCA.