IThe focus of this essay is on a few Venetian artifacts where the term 'Moor' is applied to figures that complicate the association with blackness and Africa. ‘Mori’ (Moors) in Venice are associated with squares, streets, inns, statues, sculptures, jewels and even with patisserie. In Piazza San Marco we find the group of the Tetrarchs, four figures of warriors embracing each other, probably sculpted in Egypt in the 4th century from a single block of porphyry and part of the rich spoils that the Venetians captured from Costantinople during the Fourth Crusade (1202-1204). Wedged at the side of the religious edifice and at the boundary with the Doge's palace, the embracing figures became over the centuries identified with 'moors' punished for their attempt to steal the body of Saint Mark. The representation of Saint Mark's Tetrarchs as 'petrified Moors' appears as a flagrant example of projective identification: not only were the Tetrachs themselves removed from Constantinople, but the anecdote grotesquely reverses the actual theft, the famous, ingenious stealing of the body of Saint Mark from Alexandria. Venice appears then as a Medusa that petrifies the preying Moor, keeping him in the form of a fetish as a reminder of his sacrilege and as a shield against future aggressions.
|Titolo:||Moor and Medusa: In the Footsteps of Othello|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2016|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||3.1 Articolo su libro|
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|Bassi Moor Medusa.pdf||Fotocopia dell'articolo||Versione dell'editore||Accesso libero (no vincoli)||Open Access dal 07/09/2020|