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Photobastei 2.0 is Zürich’s New Photography Hotspot


After Photobastei’s first 8 month stint ended in August last year, the photography project had exhibited the work of 462 photographers and had nearly 100'000 visitors pass through. So, to say that Photobastei was a success is putting it mildly.

In comes Photobastei 2.0

Now having kicked off its second round in a brand new location, Photobastei is proving that it is not just a one hit wonder. Like the previous space, this one is also only available temporarily, but for a longer stretch lasting until August 2018.

Romano Zerbini is the creator behind Photobastei, a project he came up with as a way to bring the Swiss photography scene onto the radar. He wanted to emphasize originality and passion in the photography world instead of marketing techniques and a pressure to sell pieces.

Zerbini has produced an art-centric platform for photographers. He offers them exhibition space which is intentionally low cost. Artists are enabled to show off their work, and the space is enhanced with artist talks, workshops, and portfolio and exhibition reviews.

The second generation of Photobastei is also evolving by bringing in other mediums of art like dance, theatre and music performances.

Photobastei - Spiller - Zurich Los Angeles

Willy Spiller: Zürich - Los Angeles

Opening Photobastei 2.0 is Zürich native and former photojournalist Willy Spiller, born here in 1947. Spiller's photos of the city were taken in the 1970's, when he was working for local newspaper Züri Leu. His exhibition Zürich - Los Angeles does not just concentrate on Zürich, but also on Los Angeles.

Photobastei - Spiller - Zurich Los Angeles

The images of the City of Angels were shot between 1977 and 1983 while Spiller was working for the Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Spiller creates divergent moods between the two locales by presenting the images of L.A. in color while the ones of his home city are in black and white.

Photobastei - Spiller - Zurich Los Angeles

The L.A. photos are of neon signs, all-American classic cars, fast food stalls and palm trees. The photos of Zürich are starker with a noticeable rugged and industrial feel. And the distinction between the two cities is made all the more profound through the use of perspectives. The viewpoint in the Los Angeles images is that of strangers, while the viewpoint in the Zürich images is Spiller's own, projecting the feeling of being an insider and a local.

Photobastei - Spiller - Zurich Los Angeles

Above all else, what the photos of both cities reveal is a sense of human inquisitiveness and compassion, and a sense that realism trumps idealism. His photos will be on display at Photobastei through Oct 25, 2015.

More Information

- Photobastei Website
- How to get there
- Willy Spiller Photography Website


As a Swiss-American born and raised in Los Angeles, Francisca now enjoys the slightly smaller size of Zürich. There, she can be found people watching and writing for her blog in various cafés, hanging out at the lake when the sun is shining, and having Raclette, Fondue and Glühwein with friends when the sun isn’t shining.

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