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 will open in May 2023.
The name of the exhibition stems from the etymology of the word transhumance, formed by the combination of the Latin words trans (across, 'oltre' in Italian) and humus (grounds, 'terra').
The project seeks to avoid the simplistic definition of wool as just a material, and to expand its understanding within a much broader ecology. Wool is the entry point to explore and investigate an intricate realm of interactions and interdependencies within an ecosystem. By looking at the development of wool production, artefacts history and material culture, Oltre Terra aims at unravelling the complexities of the cooperative symbiosis between animals, humans, and the environment.
The scope of the exhibition is to explore this very intimate, yet intricate relationship between humans and animals, in which the boundaries between tamer and domesticated fade. Material culture and biological evolution are too often conceptually separated, which calls for a holistic perspective on the interdependency between production processes and biological evolution.