Oil on four screens

At the Olio Officina Food Festival in Milan there will be a sensory room where one can experience the vivid emotions that arise when visiting an olive grove and mill.

Olio Officina

Oil on four screens

We have christened it Oleum. Oil on four screens”. There are strong emotions involved, because here it is possible to experience the olive trees and oil “live”. It is one of the great novelties of the fourth Olio Officina Food Festival: a sensory room.

In brief, it is a virtual representation of the real world inside a room designed to reproduce what one experiences in the countryside, wandering among the olive trees, or visiting an olive mill.

Oleum is the brainchild of the director of the Olio Officina Food Festival, Mr Luigi Caricato. Its execution however took a few months. In October 2014 Francesco Buccarelli and Alberto Caroppo started filming and editing, integrating the footage on olive harvests with archive material supplied by “Abitare i Paduli”, the coordinators of the “Lampa!” project.

The music – composed expressly for this occasion – and the sounds were recorded and edited by Francesco Pellizzari.

The result is a time lapse: time flows from morning to evening, recounting the harvest of the olives and their milling, highlighting what an activity of this type unconsciously gives us: the contact with Nature, the passion, efforts and enthusiasm that are so typical of the younger generations.

To best express these aspects, it was decided to project the film onto four screens, so as to surround the viewers completely. All together, the screens will give a 360° view of the environment, but will also display repeated, specular images, which will make the audience feel literally immersed in this virtual reality.

Journey will be the theme, the leitmotif linking the various scenes and stages of this film (morning-trip-harvest-milling and return), the protagonists of which are our hands.

“I had been harbouring this idea for quite a while – says Luigi Caricato – and now finally it sees the light. Those who never had the opportunity of wandering around an olive grove will experience similar feelings in the sensory room. Obviously it won’t be exactly the same, but the emotions will be equally strong, especially in whoever rarely goes to the countryside or visits an olive mill”.

The work has a circular structure, its end coinciding with a new beginning. It is essential to look back at our past in order to enter into a circuit that leads us to a continuous renewal. Hands. Hands reveal the importance of the contact and balanced interaction between Man and Nature. They encourage us not to trespass, but help us keep our feet on the ground and not lose contact with reality, because oil is an essential element in our life and olive groves arouse great emotions within our soul.

The video, made by Francesco Buccarelli and Alberto Caroppo, of VHS, is an Olio Officina – Abitare i Paduli joint production. There are images, sounds, noises and scents evoking a world that is not merely one of production, but coincides with the creation of knowledge, embodied by what is now considered a functional food, but in the past was always celebrated by myths and the religions of the Book: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

At the entrance to the sensory room, whoever wishes to fully dive into this experience, may undergo a brief purification rite, which consists in reading a few lines on meditation, while resting one’s hands on a bed of olive leaves.

Once inside, you will be kindly requested to keep silent, so as not to disturb other visitors in contemplation or spiritual rapture.

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