“This project has been created to highlight the age-old connection between agriculture and art, which nowadays regains its social relevance,” said Domitilla Calamai.
Not only is Calamai an olive oil sommelier and producer of the award-winning Osti olive oil, she is also writer of essays and novels like Blame it on Fidel, which was made into a movie.
We met her to talk about an exclusive event where extra virgin olive oil will meet art in one of the world’s most influential contemporary art fairs.
Frieze Masters will host its Culture of Italian Olive Oil event, featuring Italian producers who are passionate about art and agriculture in equal measure.
On October, 7 at Locanda Locatelli, the Italian restaurant in London awarded a Michelin star, a tasting of Italian extra virgin olive oils will underscore the close relationship between art and the world of agriculture.
Witnesses to this deep connection will be sixteen Italian manufacturers who are also collectors, artists, publishers, writers, architects, political scientists, filmmakers and landowners.
They include: Domitilla Calamai and Mattia Falchetto Osti, Giovanni and Patricia Aldobrandini, Matteo Boetti, Valentina Bruschi, Giuseppe Catalano di Melilli, Anna Federici and Roberto D’Agostino, Nina zu Fürstenberg and Giancarlo Bosetti, Giuseppe Gallo and Cristina Leonardi Gallo, Noëma and Klio Kosuth, Piervittorio Leopardi and Livia Berlingeri Leopardi, Peter Sartogo and Martina Mondadori Sartogo, Laura Einaudi and Bartolomeo Pietromarchi, Remo and Sally Salvadori, Bernardo and Costanza Scammacca del Murgo, Oliviero Toscani, and the host, the Chef Giorgio Locatelli.
The event, curated by the independent curator Cornelia Lauf, proposes a selection of excellent products that will be disclosed and expounded by Calamai and by the olive oil sommelier, biodynamic farmer and art collector, Anna Federici. They will reveal the characteristics and history of each producer, while introducing the participants to the secrets of a real tasting session, during which Murano glasses and ceramics made by artists, including Alan Belcher, Roberto Caracciolo, Manuel Gorkiewicz, Nicoletta Gualdi, Coralla Maiuri, Tristano di Robilant, will be used.
It will be a journey across Italy, the country with the largest number of olive varieties, which their peculiar flavors and aromas. Producers share the common mission to produce extra virgin olive oils of the highest quality, following sustainable practices, respecting and nurturing the territory, preserving a unique biodiversity in a mosaic where tradition and modernity coexist to enhance the beauty and uniqueness of Italian landscapes.
Cornelia Lauf proposed the union between EVOO and art “to emphasize the close link between the millennial culture of olive oil and the role of the producer, also a cultural protagonist.” All manufacturers present at the event are, in fact, cultural figures. Moreover, some adorn their labels with images created by artists like Alighiero Boetti, Emilio Corti, Giuseppe Gallo, William Kentridge, Joseph Kosuth, Ignazio Mortellaro, Remo Salvadori and others.
“The relationship with our land may be the last frontier of contemporary art,” the curatorial presentation reads, and then it quotes Joseph Beuys, who declared that “the defense of nature is anthropological action.”
“In effect, we have the social commitment of taking care of the world we live in,” Domitilla Calamai pointed out. “Managing my olive grove is a source of pride for me. At the core of the union between EVOO and art is the idea that art has also a function useful to convey a message of care and quality.”