Mahnaz Yousefzadeh will present the history of the Buratto, a wooden statue of a Black Moorish figure carrying a Medusa shield which is part of Met Breuer’s Like Life: Sculpture, Color, Body (March 21- July 24). The figure once used as target during the Saracen Joust held for the wedding of Medici Grad Duke in 1579, has left Florence for the first time to take part in an investigation of 600 years of use of color in figurative sculpture. Once considered an abject prop, the Moorish figure entered the Bargello, the national museum of Italy in 1865 only because of the iconographic value of the shield it carried. The Buratto was re-contextualized as a “progenitor of Blackmoore” for Re-Significations: European Blackamoors, Africana Readings, the proceedings of the Conference in NYU’s La Pietra in 2015, and at Met Breuer juxtaposed poetically with a preaching bot. Stefano Albertini, Director of Casa Italiana will begin the presentation with his reflections on Like Life exhibition at Met Breuer as a way of introduction.
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