Raw/Cooked: Heather Hart

Uploaded by BrooklynMuseum on 12.04.2012

My name is Heather Hart, and I am the fourth artist in the Raw/Cooked series at the Brooklyn
Museum. We are sitting in front of my piece The Eastern Oracle, in the Cantor Rotunda,
on the fifth floor The Eastern Oracle is a rooftop sitting in the middle of the rotunda.
We first brought in lumber and tresses so it was built from scratch, just like traditional
house framing. First, it was a skeleton of two by fours. Then we put the sheathing on,
which kind of stabilizes everything, and makes a good base for the shingling. Then the siding
and shingles come, and the paint and everything. Inside there is a special kind of shrine hearth
thing that you can sit in front of, also a replica of a mirror in the Egyptian gallery,
and that acts as the center of the oracle. Eastern oracle references the skank houses
that are in the collection on the fourth floor. They are actual houses that were taken from
Brooklyn and were put inside of the museum. You look up and the rooftop is kind of cut
off in the ceiling of the museum. So essentially, my piece is an extension of the skank houses
downstairs on the fourth floor. One of the concepts of The Eastern Oracle is the idea
of forefatherness. It is a form or a process that is handed down through generations. The
shrine, the idea of oracles and even the method of building rooftop, is something that is
passed down through generations. When people come to The Eastern Oracle, they can climb
on top the rooftop or they can go underneath. Underneath they will find the actual shrine,
the oracle itself, where you can take a piece of gold leaf that is offered, and press it
to the oracle in exchange for a wish or a prayer.During the run of the show, we will
have public programming activities, special things going on each month around the roof.
So I hope that they can come.