Luca Zanier was born in Zurich in 1966. After being trained in photography he worked as an
assistant to numerous national and international photographers. Zanier then founded his own
studio in Zurich and since 1993 he is working as an independent photographer, focusing
predominately on landscapes, stills, people and documentation as well as on free artistic
Since 2000, photographs of Zanier have been displayed in various group and soloexhibitions
across Europe. His work has been shown in the context of collective exhibitions
including «Descubrimientos PHE» in Madrid, the photo-festival «VoiesOff» in Arles and the
festival «Mois européen de la photographie» in Luxemburg. Exhibitions exclusively featuring
the works of Zanier have been hosted by galleries such as «Primo Piano» in Neapel, «Le
Magasin des Jouets» in Arles and «Kunstnetzwerk» in Austria. Further exhibitions are
currently being planned in Lithuania, New York, Riga and Hamburg.
Zanierʼs work has been bestowed with awards in France, Switzerland and Lithuania. In 2010
he received an «Honorable Mention» in the Review Santa Fe in New Mexico, US.
Additionally, he received the Silver Award of the Prix de la Photographie Paris in the «Fine
Art» category. Most recently, newspapers and magazines such as «Le Monde»,
«Newsweek» as well as «Wired» (Germany and UK) have featured his work. Zanierʼs fist
book, entitled «Power Book» and published by Benteli, is due to appear in 2012.
In his artistic capacity Zanier is strongly interested in urban spaces, constructing unusual
perspectives of seemingly familiar settings and situations. In his series «Metropolitan» Zanier
explores Zurich and other cities by means of poetic night photography. Zanierʼs project
«Corridors of Power» focuses on political power centers, including the United Nations
headquarters in New York. The project «50'300'000'000'000'000'000 Joule» concerns itself
with very different centers of powers. Here Zanier investigates the inner workings of the
energy sector: exploring interiors of nuclear and coal power plants, oil tankers or
hydroelectric dams. Presently, Zanier is engaged in a new project that seeks to
photographically document the biggest civilian air-raid shelter of Switzerland, thus making
hidden rooms of refuge accessible to the broad public.
Enormous spaces, endless walkways, wide sluices, cryptic signs; all combined with miles of cables and pipes. They form a technical universe that radiates a cool logic. A hidden world, known only to a few and yet which has a huge influence on our day to day lives, absolutely essential in fact. Nuclear power plants, coal-fired power stations, storage facilities for nuclear waste and other energy systems can at the same time intimidate and fascinate a visitor. They seem to have originated from other planets or science-fiction films. Strange worlds, emanating a cool logic; cathedrals of industry, temples of an energy-guzzling society. Energy systems are hidden universes, accessible to very few people, highly protected against accidents and terroristic attacks.
My intention is to capture these plants on film in an artistic manner. Pure information is in the background. The idea is more about perspectives, colours and shapes. What I am proposing is to dissipate technology into aesthetics, at least to a certain extent. Only the caption will remind the beholder of what he or she is contemplating: A highly complex system whereof our modern life depends. Energy systems which serve us and, at the same time, can threaten us.