Taking Venice

Texas Premiere of Taking Venice

The new documentary Taking Venice uncovers the story behind rumors that a team of high-placed U.S. insiders rigged the 1964 Venice Biennale so Texas artist Robert Rauschenberg could win the Grand Prize.

During the Cold War, the U.S. government is determined to fight Communism with culture. Alice Denney, a Washington insider and friend of the Kennedys, recommends ambitious curator Alan Solomon to organize the American entry for the Venice Biennale. Together with powerful New York art dealer Leo Castelli, they embark on a daring plan to make yet-to-be-famous Rauschenberg the winner of the Grand Prize. Crafting maneuvers that could be from a Hollywood thriller, the U.S. team leaves the international press crying foul, and Rauschenberg questioning the politics of nationalism that sent him there.

Underwriting for the Film Department is provided by Tenaris, The June Leaf and Robert Frank Foundation, and the Vaughn Foundation.

Generous funding is provided by The Consulate General of the Republic of Korea; Nina and Michael Zilkha; Lois Chiles; Foundation for Independent Media Arts; Franci Neely; Carrin Patman and Jim Derrick; Ms. Laurence Unger; L'Alliance Française de Houston; and ILEX Foundation.

Taking Venice

Directed by Amei Wallach
(USA/France/Italy, 2023, 98 minutes, in English)
Brown Auditorium Theater


Caroline Wiess Law Building
1001 Bissonnet Street
Houston, TX 77005
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