This photomontage comes from Hollein’s series Transformations, created between 1963 and 1968. In the series, an agricultural or urban landscape, often barren, is the site for a monumental industrial object. Hollein used machine technology—sparkplug, boxcar, and, here, aircraft carrier—to create a pure, absolute architecture with no identifiable architectonic style. Hollein followed Aircraft Carrier City in Landscape with a group of site photographs in 1964, dispensing with buildings altogether and declaring the forms of the land itself to be architectural statements—proof of his statement that “everything is architecture.” Related to this ironic, politicized viewpoint, the aircraft carrier is for Hollein an iconoclastic relic of its former function; its use here confounds common understandings of what it means to build in the contemporary landscape.
Gallery label from 9 + 1 Ways of Being Political: 50 Years of Political Stances in Architecture and Urban Design, September 12, 2012–March 25, 2013.