At Marino Marini Museum, Pinocchio's text breaks down on museum walls

From April 3 to May 23, 2022, the Marino Marini Museum in Florence is hosting the project "Graphic Tale. The Adventures of Pinocchio" by designer Stefano Rovai, which brings the words of Collodi's novel to the walls of the institution.

From April 3 to May 23, 2022, the walls of the Marino Marini Museum in Florence will be filled with texts from Collodi’s The Adventures of Pinocchio: this is the project Racconto grafico. The Adventures of Pinocchio, a typographic installation by designer and illustrator Stefano Rovai (Florence, 1958) that will thus immerse the public in the novel that has marked the imagination of every reader, the second most published text in the world after the Bible, as well as the one translated into multiple languages.

Every sentence of Collodi’s text is transformed into atypographic adventure, into a talking illustration that starts from the suggestions of futurist poetry to take off in a divertissement between graphics and linguistics, starting with the volume Pinocchio. Graphic Tale, signed by Rovai himself (published by Incipit for Edizioni della Normale di Pisa and Istituto Nazionale di Studi sul Rinascimento, 2022).

Graphic Tale. The Adventures of Pinocchio is “an installation about the power of words,” explains Rovai, founder of RovaiWeber design in Florence, which now handles graphic design for the Nasjonalmuseet in Oslo and the Richelieu Library in Paris. “The visitor will find himself completely enveloped by phrases, expressions and punctuation marks deflagrated on the walls and projected on the floor, which become real characters, actors in a book that is like the stage of a theater. I was drawn to the world of Pinocchio in 1981 when an exhibition was held in Florence on all the artists who illustrated it, signaled by a giant silhouette of the puppet created by Enrico Mazzanti. It was there that I discovered that so many artists-from Mario Schifano to Jim Dine-had grappled with this text, and I began to imagine how I, as a graphic designer, could do it. The answer took shape over time: to transfer concepts into images not through illustration, but through the infinite expressive possibilities of typography.”

So Pinocchio turns into an exclamation point, and words jump, get tangled, become huge and unwieldy, collapse, shrink. In this way, expressive typography characterizes the text in time and space, signals the tone of voice, intensifies the meaning of terms, and imparts a rhythm to the story by visually recreating the feelings and emotions suggested by the narrative. The exhibition is inspired by the volume Pinocchio. Graphic Tale, which will be presented during the opening and on which Rovai worked as part of Incipit, a project of the Scuola Normale di Pisa in collaboration with some of Italy’s most important cultural institutions, including in this case the National Institute for Renaissance Studies. The volume reworks, through “typographic illustration,” Collodi’s entire novel. Within the Marini will be installed individual passages that are particularly powerful and imaginative, aided by such intense expressiveness of Tuscan speech.

Stefano Rovai, professionally active since 1977, directs in Florence together with Susanna Weber and Niccolò Mazzoni RovaiWeber design, active on several fields: from culture (Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi, Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, Museo degli Innocenti, Museo Galileo, Museo dell’Opera Primaziale di Pisa, Museo Salvatore Ferragamo) to publishing (Edizioni della Normale, Giunti Editore, Giunti Mostre Arte Musei, Electa), to thefashion industry (Salvatore Ferragamo, Gucci, Ermanno Scervino), wine (Ornellaia, Masseto, Planeta), to public (City of Florence, Tuscany Region) and private institutions (Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze). He is professor of Communication Design Laboratory at the University of San Marino. As a photographer he has published the volumes Lost and found (Florence 2010), The look out (Florence 2013) and Uncertain Shapes (Florence 2013).

The Marino Marini Museum opens Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Full ticket 6 euros, reduced 4 euros. Free on the first Sunday of the month. For info visit the Marino Marini Museum website.

At Marino Marini Museum, Pinocchio's text breaks down on museum walls
At Marino Marini Museum, Pinocchio's text breaks down on museum walls

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