At first glance, one would see Jacques Emery as a normal middle-aged man working as an electrician in Martigny, Switzerland but little do people know about the magic that happens in his basement during the night. For those who don’t know of him, this Swiss electrician has a strange yet extraordinary hobby as he transforms himself into somewhat of a mad scientist when he enters that basement of his. Through the use of various capacitors, resistors and coils, Jacques is able to create and harness the power of lightning.
Is it strange? Yes, but impossible? No.
Three years ago, a photographer by the name of Olivier Lovey heard about Emery and his avocation. Lovey’s interest was immediately aroused upon learning of Emery’s side interest and to his pleasure, the electrician willingly gave him a full tour of his laboratory as well as giving detailed explanations on all the machines present and how long it takes him to build one.
The photographer was quick to remark on how photogenic Emery’s world is and how special and unique he is.
Most of Emery’s instruments are a copy of historical devices such as a Tesla coil and Wimshurst influenced machine but he also creates original devices of his own. In fact, the one that produces the lightning, called ‘circular multiplier prototype,’ resembles a Jean Tinguely.
All of this was featured in Lightning Power, a documentation made by Lovey depicting the amazing world of the electrician as well as his discoveries and inventions. The photographer captured everything through a black and white setting to give the feeling of an old movie set. He purposely refrained from giving Emery too much exposure because he believes that the electrician is somewhat of a Prometheus, an ordinary man that dreams of the impossible. He only showed the electrician in shadows and silhouettes while also adding fascinating objects in the background.
With his brief encounter with Jacques Emery, Olivier Lovey was amazed by his dreams of conquering the uncontrollable and has a deep respect for it although it would end in vain. Knowing something will never happen but still keeping a slight hope that it might.