Heather Hart's Oracle of Lacuna @ Storm King Art Center

Heather Hart Oracle of Lacuna.jpg

I had one of those magical art moments on Saturday, you know the kind...where the art you are standing in front of is so pleasing to the eye, smarter than you expected and speaking directly to you but you can tell that everyone else is also feeling it, even though you can't really articulate what 'it' is. 

I was at the Storm King Art Center for the opening of the exhibition Outlooks: Heather Hart. For those who don't know, Storm King Art Center is a 500 acre sculpture park just an hour and a half away from Manhattan (driving).  I've been in NYC for close to 10 years and this was my first visit! My loss - this please is insanely idyllic - hills, meadows, babbling brooks, woods, rabbits, geese, so many adorable goslings, and oh yeah...art. 

Outlooks is Storm King's annual exhibition series, where they invite one emerging or mid-career artist to create a temporary site-specific installation on their grounds.  I've known Heather Hart since my RBPMW days (she was awarded one of our SIP Fellowship's) and have been borderline #artstalking her ever since.  Heather's installation, titled Oracle of Lacuna, is a quintessentially American rooftop nestled in Storm King's North Woods. Yeah...she built a rooftop! Visitors can climb all over and under the Oracle of Lacuna. I'm pretty sure NYC's instagram is gonna be full of people posing on top of this piece. But....venturing under the roof was my favorite part. 

In the months leading up to this project, Hart connected with local historians, artists, and residents to learn more about how regional histories of slavery, migration, and growth have shaped local communities. Underneath the rooftop, in the “attic” space that the roof creates, roundtables organized and recorded by Hart in spring 2017 trace intersecting histories of Storm King’s region. Topics include the founding and history of Storm King itself, personal accounts of people of the African Diaspora migrating to and living in Storm King’s region, and the histories of displacement and change within local Native American communities.
— Storm King Art Center press release

Most of the artists in Storm King's collection are very pale and very male so it was refreshing to be there to celebrate a black woman artist, especially one who raises questions about narratives and race in her work. The opening festivities included a performance by Chargaux ON the Oracle of Lacuna. Everything just kind of came together perfectly; the sun was out, there was a cool breeze, we were all lying on the grass, staring at this phenomenal sculpture by a WOC artist while two super talented WOC musicians played meditative, jazzy, trance-like music. It was magical. 

Sarah BurneyComment