Photographer Dietmar Eckell is no stranger to the allure of abandoned structures. The proof: his “Happy End” coffee table book, about all the abandoned miracles of the Aviation history.
“Happy End” is the photo-project of Dietmar Eckell about 15 airplanes that had forced landings but all passengers on board survived and were rescued from the remote locations. The planes remain until today abandoned in the middle of nowhere, in some occasions for over 60 years. It’s part of the photographer’s long term project “Restwert” (german for “Residual Value”) to document these abandoned objects that have fascinating backgrounds, like cold war relicts, olympic sites, flooded churches, railroad tracks, or even never finished nuclear reactors.
This series is to him more than just a bunch of useless wrecks not worth to recover: it’s a surreal and beautiful bouquet of airplanes in vast landscapes with wonderful stories. ‘It is about heroes – the pilots who turned desasters into miracles, destiny – to survive a crash landing and get found in nowhere, time – crashed in seconds and then untouched for decades, space – even majestic airplanes can look lost in vast nature, “the end” – while most get scrapped in junk yards – these found a place to ‘rest in peace’. It has started with his interest in the visual disruption of nostalgic technology in endless landscapes – but soon he got hooked to these planes/stories and spent over two years researching and documenting them. Aviation miracles are rare and the planes remaining out there are very remote – but the challenge was motivation and it was like a pilgrimage to get to these wonders on four continents – from Papua New Guinea to the Arctic Circle. And inspired by the shipwreck painters of the romantic period he looks for dramatic skies, late light or fall colors to glorify these wonderful planes.
Eckell is now inviting the public to take part in the preservation of his art in the self-published book,‘Happy End’ – a Photo-Book about Miracles in Aviation History. The book is accepting sponsors on IndieGogo, an opportunity for art fans and cultural custodians to help Dietmar Eckell and others explore their inspiration. Let’s help him! It’s definitely worth every penny.