Kumu Documentary: Taking Venice 20/03/2024

Kumu Art Museum

Kumu Auditorium

Kumu Documentary: Taking Venice
Arhiiv_Kumu Dokk

Kumu Documentary: Taking Venice

Dir Amei Wallach
USA, France and Italy 2023, 98 min
In English
Introduction by Maria-Kristiina Soomre

 Did the US government and a team of highly placed insiders conspire to rig the 1964 Venice Biennale so that Robert Rauschenberg could become the first American to capture the art world’s greatest prize? By the early 60s, the U.S. government was obsessed with fighting Communism in a “Cultural Cold War” and shifting the centre of artistic superiority from Europe to America… and they had a new weapon in the battle for avant-garde dominance: Pop Art. Told like a cinematic thriller, Taking Venice plunges deep into the giddy optimism, the escalating propaganda and the growing paranoia of the Swinging Sixties; the film recounts the deft behind-the-scenes manoeuvres that left the international press shocked and the European art world reeling in horror at the ascension of American culture. The events’ profound reverberations can still be felt in the globalised art world and across the cultural landscape, where the borders between art, commercialism and advertising continue to blur.

The film arrives just in time for the 60th anniversary of Rauschenberg’s Grand Prize in Venice in 2024 and the centennial of his birth in 2025.

The director, Amei Wallach, is an award-winning art critic, film-maker, 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.

Entrance free of charge.

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