Southern Oracle: We Will Tear the Roof Off

May 10, 2019—November 10, 2019
North Carolina Museum of Art

Heather Hart (born in Seattle, Wash.; lives and works in Brooklyn, N.Y.) creates outdoor spaces that invite viewer participation and engagement. Her series Oracular Rooftops is an ongoing project of interactive sculptures sited in landscapes so that they appear to be houses half-submerged in the earth. As described by Hart, each work is “an independent rooftop, removed from its house, and dropped from the sky to live its own life in a new context. A rooftop can refer to home, stability, or shelter, but in this context, it is also an action of reclaiming power—of influence, direction, and earth.” Each Oracular Rooftop serves as a gathering space brought to life by community interaction.

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Hart’s site-specific work for the Museum Park, Southern Oracle: We Will Tear the Roof Off, is inspired by her family history in North Carolina and by the song “Mothership Connection” by Parliament-Funkadelic, the project of North Carolina native George Clinton. The sculpture is intentionally open, welcoming visitors to climb on and explore the roof’s exterior, while the interior provides space for thoughtful engagement, conversations, and interactions. Visitors will be invited to “plug in” to the Oracle by connecting a mobile device to a speaker hidden in the work. In addition Hart will collaborate with local artists and others to activate Southern Oracle with public programs and performances during the six months the work is on view.

Southern Oracle is the last iteration of Hart’s directional Oracular Rooftops. Previous versions have been presented at Storm King Art Center, the Seattle Art Museum, and the Brooklyn Museum. This project is guest curated by Teka Selman, an independent curator based in Durham, N.C.


Heather Hart, Southern Oracle: We Will Tear the Roof Off, 2019, mixed-media sculpture installation, dimensions variable, supported by the Hartfield Foundation and Libby and Lee Buck; Courtesy of the artist

This project is generously supported by the Hartfield Foundation and Libby and Lee Buck.


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