Amei Wallach's ‘Taking Venice’ Screens at Sag Harbor Cinema - 27 East

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Amei Wallach's ‘Taking Venice’ Screens at Sag Harbor Cinema

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Robert Rauschenberg's

Robert Rauschenberg's "Express," in Venice, 1964. COURTESY SAG HARBOR CINEMA

Robert Rauschenberg in Venice, 1964. COURTESY SAG HARBOR CINEMA

Robert Rauschenberg in Venice, 1964. COURTESY SAG HARBOR CINEMA

A poster of Amei Wallach's film

A poster of Amei Wallach's film "Taking Venice." COURTESY SAG HARBOR CINEMA

authorStaff Writer on Jun 10, 2024

On Sunday, June 23, at 6 p.m. Sag Harbor Cinema, in collaboration with The Church, will present the documentary “Taking Venice.” The screening will be followed by a conversation between director Amei Wallach, the cinema’s artistic director Giulia D’Agnolo Vallan and The Church’s executive director Sheri Pasquarella.

The film uncovers the true story behind rumors that the U.S. government and a team of high-placed insiders rigged the 1964 Venice Biennale so that their chosen artist, Robert Rauschenberg, could win the Golden Lion.

Wallach is an award-winning art critic, filmmaker, and television commentator. Her critically acclaimed films, “Louise Bourgeois: The Spider,” “The Mistress and the Tangerine,” and “Ilya and Emilia Kabakov: Enter Here,” remain in international demand. In her articles, books, media appearances — and more recently in her films — Wallach has chronicled, and known, artists from Willem de Kooning and Lee Krasner to Jasper Johns and Shirin Neshat.

As an art writer, she watched Robert Rauschenberg make prints in New York and paintings in Captiva, Florida. She is uniquely able to tell this story. Wallach has written or contributed to more than a dozen books and was an on-air arts commentator for the PBS “MacNeil/Lehrer Newshour.” Her articles have appeared in such publications as The New York Times Magazine, The Nation, Smithsonian, Vanity Fair, Vogue, Art in America and ARTnews.

“Here at SHC we have explored multiple interactions between film and the other visual arts. This is probably the first one that also has the flavor of a ‘giallo,’” says D’Agnolo Vallan. “Yet, for all the gripping atmosphere of international intrigue supported by great archival footage, ‘Taking Venice’ also offers a subtle understanding of Rauschenberg’s conflicted point of view and of the reverberations that the 1964 Biennale would have on the art world at large.”

“Taking Venice explores a true art world apocryphal legend — and Amei’s deft research renders a riveting film that presents the history for once and all,” adds Pasquarella. “Rauschenberg, Castelli, and the Biennale in 1964 together beget a mesmerizing tale of glamour, intrigue, art and nostalgia.”

Tickets for the program will be available at the cinema box office or on the website, sagharborcinema.org. Sag Harbor Cinema is at 90 Main Street, Sag Harbor.

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