Top Italian comic creator Davide Toffolo’s “Interview with Pasolini” in the spotlight in new exhibition in Edinburgh

As part of the celebrations for the 100th anniversary of the birth of Italian poet, filmmaker, writer and intellectual Pier Paolo Pasolini, the international tour of Davide Toffolo’s free Interview with Pasolini exhibition is running at the Italian Institute of Culture in Edinburgh from 26th January to 10th March 2023.

Born in 1922, Pier Paolo Pasolini was an openly gay Italian poet, filmmaker, writer and intellectual who also distinguished himself as a journalist, novelist, translator, playwright, visual artist and actor. He is considered one of the defining public intellectuals in 20th-century Italy, influential both as an artist and a political figure, who was, sadly, murdered in November 1975 during an altercation with a young male prostitute.

Promoted by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the initiative created by the Viva Comix Association evolved from the original drawings of the homonymous graphic novel by the famous cartoonist and musician Davide Toffolo.

The Italian edition of the book was first published in 2002, and subsequently translated into many other languages.

“Pasolini loved comics and in his artistic research he used them for the story-board of the film The Earth As Seen from the Moon,” notes Paola Bristot, curator of the project, a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice and president of the Viva Comix Association.

Hence Toffolo’s idea of choosing the language of comics for a final dialogue with the great intellectual, who takes up and updates many of the issues dear to him: standardization, systems of authoritarianism and the spectacularization of culture and communication.

Thanks to the power of the drawings, which portray an alter ego of Pasolini (a double, maybe a ghost) against the background of the places in his life, Toffolo’s work offers an unprecedented perspective of analysis of Pasolini’s thought: the words spoken by Pasolini from the comic derive from real articles, interviews and speeches, which constitute an original introduction to his critical reflection and essay production.

Born in Pordenone in 1965, Davide Toffolo is one of the most important authors of comic books on the Italian scene. He wrote and illustrated the books Carnera, Il Re Bianco, Il Cammino della Cumbia, Graphic novel is dead and the recent L’ultimo vecchio sulla terra, based on the texts of the Roman artist and poet Remo Remotti.

The creator of the Cinque Allegri Ragazzi Morti series, Toffolo is well known as the voice and guitar of the band Tre Allegri Ragazzi Morti, and founder with Enrico Molteni and Luca Masseroni of the La Tempesta Dischi label, which produced and published numerous proposals for independent Italian music.

The exhibition showcases the original panels of the graphic novel Interview with Pasolini, offering insight into Davide Toffolo’s drawing technique and the attention to detail throughout all its working phases. It also includes a review of the all covers from the various editions in which this work was published, and an exclusive collection of illustrations drawn live by Davide Toffolo on the occasion of his live performance “Pasolini, l’incontro” in which – as Toffolo often loves to do – the subject emerges from the comic pages and through his actions takes life on the stage.

Interview with Pasolini by Davide Toffolo Exhibition Thursday, 26th January – Friday 10th March 2023 Italian Institute of Culture, 82 Nicolson St, Edinburgh EH8 9EW | Free | Organised by the Italian Institute of Culture in Edinburgh, in collaboration with MAECI, Viva Comix Association

With thanks to Paul Gravett

The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Explorer (previously known as Star Trek Magazine) and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of "Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies" for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.



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