In Luca Zanier's view, people of influence come and go, but places of power endure. And so the Zurich-based photographer has been taking pictures of those places, negotiating access to inner sanctums at such institutions as the French national labor union, the CGT (but failing so far at FIFA, the international governing body of soccer). “I try to put the camera in the seat of the most powerful person in the room,” Zanier says. “That way, when you’re looking at the photograph, you’re the boss.” At the United Nations in New York City, he put his camera behind the second rank of seats at the Security Council. The staff members who occupy them, he says, are the powers behind the delegates who sit at the table.
The General Confederation of Labour, France
The General Confederation of Labour (CGT) in France originally inspired Luca Zanier to think about corridors of power. Zanier was attracted to the building’s architecture and bright colors.
French Communist Party, Paris
Of all the locations to gain access to so far, the French Communist Party in Paris was the most difficult.
The New School, NYC
Zanier says he seeks out organizations to photograph that (as opposed to well recognized spaces such as Parliament) are powerful but perhaps unfamiliar, such as The New School in New York City.
United Nations General Assembly, NYC
When asked why his photographs don’t contain people, Zanier says “people make the decisions, but five or ten years later, there are new people in power. The people go, but the place stays.” (Pictured here is the United Nations General Assembly, New York City.)
UN Trusteeship Council, NYC
As in this photograph of the UN Trusteeship Council in New York City, Zanier tries to put the camera in the seat of the most powerful person in the room. That way, he says, “When you’re looking at the photograph, you’re the boss.”
UN Economic and Social Council, NYC
Zanier plans to continue the project around the world to fifteen countries in Europe. (Pictured here is the UN Economic and Social Council in New York City.)
UN Security Council, New York
Zanier seeks to photograph organizations that are powerful, but that also possess interesting architecture, as witnessed in this photograph of the UN Security Council New York.