“Staging Unforeseen Events”, by R. Valtorta

Several elements converge in this colored research by Stefano Tubaro. A series of abandoned places, disused structures, are chosen as objects of attention not in a descriptive-documentary key, but as little theatres of events. The photographer – it is important to underline – performs real actions, and of a certain duration: he animates the space by staying in the dark; he illuminates parts at length and then takes the pictures. It is the light then – the raw material of photography itself – which intervenes on the physical reality, creating zones of color that “revitalize” architectural structures which no longer have a function, shifting them all of a sudden from the real plane to the oneiric one. The work, although painstakingly planned, leaves an important small opening to chance, since the final outcome of the image is not entirely predictable (it could reserve “unforeseen events”), and this puts the accent even more on the importance of the interaction between setting up the scene and the successive shooting. It is a question then of a landscape truly created “live” through light, according to an operation which distantly refers to land art, which the photographic shot defines and not, as it could appear, images realized through coloring of the digital kind produced a posteriori.     This superimposition of the reality of light/color upon the physical reality finds in the final photographic shot a sort of consecration beyond which it would be pointless to go. Instead the opposite would happen in the image processed in the digital sense, where everything is resolved after taking the picture. That it is rather the human element – and not the weight of technology – which determines the identity of these photographic works is confirmed by the presence in silhouette of a figure, the photographer himself, who thus affirms visually as well his presence in the different phases of the operation. The use of sharp colors, well-defined, and this superimposing of artificial color onto natural color, graft onto the purely photographic images of Tubaro some codes of painting or of illustration, introducing a sense of a fairy tale, of an “other” place. At the same time it alludes to the separation of colors, which is at the root of the sense of light itself, as well as being the basis for of all of the techniques of mechanical reproduction, for example typography and serigraphy, arts in their own right that, like photography, have as their starting point precisely the vital element of light.

Roberta Valtorta


(presentation text in the catalogue of the exhibit “Staging Unforeseen Events”,
Artestudio Clocchiatti, Udine 2000)