Formafantasma: Oltre Terra
Why Wool Matters
Hanne Eide, Kristian Wikborg Wiese, Marianne Yvenes (Eds.)
National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design Oslo & Walther Koenig, 2023
Oltre Terra is an ongoing investigation conducted by Formafantasma focused on the history, ecology, and global dynamics of the extraction and production of wool. Commissioned by the National Museum of Oslo, and curated by Hanne Eide, the exhibition is on view from May 26th to October 1st 2023.
In the exhibition “Oltre Terra. Why Wool Matters” the multidisciplinary design studio Formafantasma investigates the history, ecology and global dynamics of the extraction and production of wool. A wide range of artworks, agricultural and cultural objects, photographs, videos, and other materials shows how wool is more than simply a raw material for the design and textile industries. The domestic sheep as we know them today evolved over the course of hundreds of years. Humans gave sheep food and protection from predators and got wool in return – a material with magical properties that profoundly altered the course of both human and animal history. The wider installation of Oltre Terra is a critical take on the display mode of the diorama. Commonly used in natural history museums to represent a static scene from nature, here the diorama is exploded into an installation that contains six life-size reproductions of different sheep breeds, a carpet made from discarded wool fibers, as well as documents, films, by-products of manufacturing processes and various types of organic matter. All the elements are presented side by side to counteract persisting categorizations that separate human from animal and product from biological matter. Texts by Badger Bates, Luca Battaglini, Elena Ciani, Hamish Chandler, Vinciane Despret, Hanne Eide, Formafantasma, Tim Ingold, Ingun Klepp, Tone Skårdal Tobiasson, Lottozero, Ewan McEoin, Michel Meuret, Marco Paganoni, Alessandro Rabottini, Marcelo R. Sánchez-Villagra, Kari Weil and Tim White.
Formafantasma was established in 2009 by Italians Andrea Trimarchi (B.1983) and Simone Farresin (b.1980). Both are living and working in The Netherlands.