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Taking Venice

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TAKING VENICE uncovers the true story behind rumors that the 1964 Venice Biennale was rigged - by the U.S. Government and a team of highly placed insiders - so that their chosen artist, Robert Rauschenberg, could win the grand prize.At the height of the Cold War, the U.S. government is determined to fight Communism with culture. The Venice Biennale, the world's most influential art exhibition, becomes a proving ground in 1964. Alice Denney, Washington insider and friend of the Kennedys, recommends Alan Solomon, an ambitious curator making waves with trailblazing art, to organize the U.S. entry. Together with Leo Castelli, a powerful New York art dealer, they embark on a daring plan to make Robert Rauschenberg the winner of the Grand Prize. Although he had the potential to dazzle, Robert Rauschenberg was yet to be taken seriously by the art world in the early 1960s. His groundbreaking work known as "combines" merged painting and sculpture with found objects and pop culture images in new ways that had not been seen before. Deftly pulling off maneuvers that could have come from a Hollywood thriller, the American team leaves the international press crying foul, and Rauschenberg questioning the politics of nationalism that sent him there.

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