ACMI presents WONDERLAND World Premiere April 2018

A Melbourne Winter Masterpieces exhibition


In 2018, ACMI invites you to journey down the rabbit hole into an enchanted world, where expectations are upended and curiosity is rewarded. A world premiere as part of the Victorian Government’s Melbourne Winter Masterpieces series, ACMI’s newest exhibition WONDERLAND will celebrate the screen history of Lewis Carroll’s timeless stories — Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There — in an entirely original experiential exhibition. 

Our enduring fascination with Carroll’s stories and characters uniquely traces the evolution of filmmaking.  WONDERLAND will chart the cultural, technological and societal shifts that have compelled artists, filmmakers and fans to return to the Alice tales again and again since the birth of cinema.

“This latest ACMI-created Melbourne Winter Masterpieces exhibition showcases the moving image adaptations of Carroll’s seminal works through celebrating the evolution of filmmaking, right from the earliest optical toys through to new technologies,” said ACMI CEO & Director, Katrina Sedgwick.

“With WONDERLAND, ACMI has created an interactive exhibition where audiences will explore the magic of film craft and its integral role embedding this much loved story in our imaginations for generations.”

Rich with inspiration for visual interpretation, Carroll’s tales have been the subject of more than 40 film versions and over 30 television programs. Today Alice remains an icon; omnipresent and continually relevant through her presence across music videos, video games, high fashion and advertising. WONDERLAND will take audiences on Alice’s journey through popular culture, demonstrating how her story has been brought to life on screen for more than a century.

The exhibition illustrates our ongoing fascination with new visual technologies and the role of the moving image to quench our desire to make the impossible seem possible. From the first screen adaptation in 1903 to Alice Through the Looking Glass(2016), WONDERLAND will reveal the development of special effects from pre-cinematic entertainment and silent film, to animation, puppetry, live-action cinema, videogames, CGI, 3D and beyond.

Minister for Tourism and Major Events, John Eren, today said: “We’re getting things done – bringing blockbuster exhibitions like WONDERLAND to Victoria for all to enjoy. The exhibition is part of our huge program of major cultural and sporting events that attracting visitors to Victoria, supporting jobs and boosting local businesses. With another unmissable exhibition locked in for 2018, it’s easy to see why Victoria is the cultural capital of the country.”

This wholly original ACMI exhibition brings the museum’s extensive creative and curatorial expertise together with a leading team of Australian collaborators to create an immersive experience complete with playful environments and bespoke digital activities that draw on the wonder and curiosity of Carroll’s stories. Together with the ACMI team, exhibition and theatrical designer Anna Tregloan, digital creative studios Sandpit, Grumpy Sailor and Mosster Studio, sound designer Byron Scullin and composer Cornel Wilczek, come together to create an interactive experience that will delight and surprise adults and children alike.

The world premiere season of ACMI’s WONDERLAND exhibition will run from Thursday 5 April through to Sunday 7 October 2018. Tickets on sale to the general public Thursday 30 November, with presales available to ACMI members now.