Zulu Romeo Hotel.
Photographs by Sebastian Heeb.
Edition Patrick Frey, 2013. 80 pp., 34 black & white illustrations, 8¼x12½".
At first glance it appears to be a series of black and white photos showing gently rolling hills. But then the eye begins to catch notice of large shadows on the ground. These surreal and mildly threatening undefined forms reveal themselves to be the shadows cast by airplanes. And what was perceived to be pastoral landscape images are actually pictures of the landing lane at Zurich airport - abbreviated ZRH and known in pilot radio talk as Zulu Romeo Hotel. Every two minutes a passenger airplane thunders toward Runway 14 from the West, casting a shadow as big as a hill.
The artist's book, created by the young photographer Sebastian Heeb (b. 1990), is not a documentation about airports or air traffic. It outlines the visual conflict that exists between landscape, airplanes and shadows. It is open to association and can be read in various ways. The photos are accompanied by a short text that is based on an interview with a Swiss pilot who de- scribes the landing approach to Runway 14. The text in its brevity and technical precision forms a counterpoint to the lyrical photographs.