A collaboration with The Church

Sag Harbor – On Saturday, June 23rd at 6pm the Cinema,

in collaboration with The Church, will present the documentary Taking Venice. The screening will be followed by a conversation between director Amei Wallach, SHC’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.



Robert Rauschenberg, Venice, 1964 


“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,” says 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 Cinema’s website,sagharborcinema.org

Rauschenberg’s Express, Venice, 1964


Sag Harbor Cinema

As a not-for-profit 501(c)3, community-based organization, Sag Harbor Cinema is dedicated to presenting the past, present and future of the Movies and to preserving and educating about films, filmmaking, and the film-going experience in its three state-of-the-art theaters. The Cinema engages its audiences and the community year-round through dialogue, discovery, and appreciation of the moving image – from blockbusters to student shorts and everything in between. Revitalized and reimagined through unprecedented community efforts to rebuild the iconic Main Street structure after a fire nearly destroyed it in 2016, SHC continues a long historic tradition of entertainment in the heart of Sag Harbor Village.

SHC Members enjoy discounts on tickets and merchandise.


The Church

The Church was established in 2019 by artists Eric Fischl and April Gornik. Housed in a deconsecrated 19th-century church, its doors were opened in April 2021. Our mission is to foster creativity and to honor the living history of Sag Harbor as a maker village. The East End represents an exceptional artistic legacy, spanning the practices of Indigenous art of several centuries ago, Abstract Expressionists of the mid-20th Century, and the many celebrated writers, makers, musicians, and visual artists of the recent past and current moment.  Core programming includes visual art exhibitions, concerts and events, educational programming, workshops, lectures, and an artist’s residency.



AAQ / Resource: Christopher Jeffrey Architects 


AAQ / Resource: Westhampton Architectural Glass