Lorenzo Pace to participate in Peruvian sculpture contest
Lorenzo Pace, design professor, will watch the slaying of the last Inca king from on stage through the eyes of a Congolese slave.
Robert Bradley, assistant professor of art history, along with two other art faculty members, four graduate students and two undergraduates reenacted the first meeting of the Inca and the Spanish 480 years ago in Peru, when the Inca King Atahualpa unknowingly welcomed the visitors who would deceive him and destroy his civilization Nov. 15 in the University Ballroom at 10:45 a.m.
Bradley is interested in researching Chachapoya (an indigenous culture conquered by the Inca before the Spanish arrived in Peru) architecture and Inca road networks. He explained the story they reenacted Thursday for the public.
“The Inca King Atahualpa was taken prisoner by the Spanish,” Bradley said. “He is held captive in a house in the city of Cajamarca and offers gold – a room full of gold – in exchange for his life. They take the gold but kill him anyway.”
Pace said his African-American heritage makes him sympathetic to the Inca, whose culture was destroyed by foreigners the way his was centuries ago in Africa.
“The conquest, the slaying of a king, and the brutality of it – that’s the African-American story,” Pace said. “(African-Americans) were brought here as three-fourths of a human at the beginning of the Americas, so that’s where I come in.”
Pace hoped the reenactment will help him get inspired and emotionally connected to his entry for Cajamarca, Peru’s Second Bicentennial International Symposium of Sculpture, a wood-sculpting contest that commemorates the city’s independence from Spain.
The 10 participants of the Segundo Simposio Internacional de Escultura ‘Bicentenario’, as it’s called in Spanish, were selected from around the world by cultural association Arco Iris to work for eight days on their own eight-foot wooden log. The finished sculptures will be transported to and displayed in the Belen Plaza in the city.
Pace was previously commissioned to design a monument in New York City’s Foley Square to pay homage to the colonial-era slave burial ground which was unearthed at the site in 1991. He worked for 10 years on the design of the 50 foot tall, 300 ton black granite sculpture titled “Triumph of the Human Spirit.”
Bradley, who lived in North Peru for many years, will be accompanying Pace to record the event.
“They will be able to decorate the whole city with these totems,” he said, speculating that the city will continue to host this sculpture contest.