Gabrielle Civil | Northern Oracle: Activation/Open Studio

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Gabrielle Civil | Northern Oracle: Activation/Open Studio
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Gabrielle Civil | Northern Oracle: Activation/Open Studio says
Day (12 - 4 pm)

In the durational work 'Northern Oracle: Activation / Open Studio (or a ritual of nest and flight)', Gabrielle Civil will activate Heather Hart's 'Northern Oracle' and showcase her own performative process. Inspired by black feminist legacies and the energy of Hart’s work, Civil will become a "northern oracle" herself in real time. Reading, chanting, meditating, writing, and shouting from the rooftop, she will welcome gallery visitors into an evolving ritual of homecoming, nest and flight.

Evening (7 - 8:30 pm)

Later that evening, she will perform a short, crystallized version of this ritual followed by a discussion with acclaimed Canadian performance artist Tanya Mars. Free shuttle bus to the evening performance/discussion leaves OCAD U (100 McCaul St.) at 6 pm, to return at 8:30 pm. First come, first served.

Visitors may attend either the day or evening event – or both!


Gabrielle Civil is a black feminist performance artist, originally from Detroit, MI. She has premiered over 40 original solo and collaborative performance works around the world. Recent works include "Say My Name (an action for 270 abducted Nigerian girls" (2014-2016); “…hewn and forged….” at the Salt Lake City Performance Art Festival (2016); and “_______ is the thing with feathers” at “Call & Response,” a historic convening of black women and performance that she organized at Antioch College (2014). She is the author of 'Swallow the Fish', a memoir in performance (CCM Press, 2017). The aim of her work is to open up space.

This performance is presented in conjuction with the DMG exhibition Heather Hart: 'Northern Oracle'.


Heather Hart: 'Northern Oracle'
January 25 – April 1, 2017
Doris McCarthy Gallery
University of Toronto Scarborough

'Northern Oracle' is an ambitious rooftop installation that emerges from the floor of the gallery, and is accompanied by a series of mixed media drawings. Through her work, Heather Hart considers Black histories, access to ownership, taking up physical space, and the significance of having a place to call home. Visitors will be able to access both the rooftop and its floor level attic, while further contemplating and enacting upon the corollary of these vantage points. The “Oracle”, located in the attic, is the heart of the work and is a site-specific shrine where visitors may leave behind offerings. Please see the guidelines around interacting with 'Northern Oracle'.

Generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, Toronto Arts Council, Equity and Diversity in the Arts (Department of Arts, Culture & Media, University of Toronto Scarborough) and U of T’s Affinity Partner Manulife.
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By: Doris McCarthy Gallery (DMG) at University of Toronto Scarborough

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