Unforseen events di Vaccari

“Unforeseen events”, by Franco Vaccari

Presentation in the itinerant exhibit at: Fondazione Italiana per la Fotografia, Turin; Chiesa SS. Quirico e Siro, Pavia; Chiesa del Suffragio, Savignano sul Rubicone; Galleria dell’Ecole d’Arts Appliquès, Vevey-Switzerland, 1999

Nobody is born out of the sea foam any more. Even in Stefano Tubaro’s work, so surprising when you first see it in the current photography scene, has – fortunately for it – many roots, some of which are embedded far off in time.

The first thing that strikes one in Tubaro’s images is the contrast between the environmental context, degraded or in any case situated at the margins of the present day world, and the play of light that hits it with a hyper-technological intensity, which could only be compared to the stages of the big rock concerts. If, however, we go on to investigate how these effects were obtained, we discover that they are the result of a reutilization of illumination techniques already used last century by the Alinari brothers. They, in fact, in order to obtain their famous images which were clear in every detail in spite of the fact that the buildings were submerged in the restricted spaces of the old city, “painted” the broad surfaces with strips of light during very long exposition times. And that is just what Tubaro says he has done. We have to believe him; otherwise we wouldn’t be able to explain the presence of phantasmal figures in his photographs that are none other than the trail left by the photographer himself as he moves in the scarce light of the evening “painting” the buildings with multicolored light.

These photographs, of a very strong visual impact, actually have a very complex structure where unusual execution times come together with unusual operative techniques. Their striking appearance shouldn’t deceive; it conceals the will of their author to enter with his whole body into the images themselves.

What could all this mean if not that Tubaro, feeling the need to get mixed up in, to “merge” with his own images, expresses a reaction to the spread of virtual images that deny every authentic physicality?

Franco Vaccari