This image tells us a lot about our expectations and our tendency to only see what suits us. In John Hollander’s vision, the aeroplane’s intended environment is in the air at hundreds of miles an hour, above weather and clouds, providing armchair comfort to many hundreds of passengers at a time. Now Covid has interrupted our expectations we have to review our relationship with air travel. Expecting to fly 1 plays with that and makes us pause, see and think again.
Weeds grow up around a pile of unattended building rubble, the luggage carts dusty from being stationary, the plane’s fuselage shows signs of grime and the beginnings of neglect - while in the background other machines lie idle wondering when they will be released. The background horizon line hazy, like the future of renewed flight in a crisis, the apron empty of human presence normally bustling with people, like ants servicing their queen on endless duty.
The plane gently elevating above the ground tethered only by its fuel lines, impatient to be elsewhere and reflecting our desperation at being grounded.
In Expecting to fly 2 the planes are where we would expect them to be, but the terminal building is in a state of aerial construction or de-construction. Sections of the building float before our eyes, with the clear blue sky seen behind through the connecting parts, while a flock of paper birds flies unencumbered across the scene mimicking the paper planes we made as children. The structure no longer fit for human purpose now that it sits empty.
As with all John Hollander’s work the viewer is asked to reflect upon the way we perceive the everyday, our familiar surroundings and our reaction to how the virus alters that. Each of his images shows what his eye and his photographic lens records but in stead of reality, he shows us surreality.
These works are a testament to Hollander’s remarkable digital skills and his own collected visual references. Each image taking an average of eighty to one hundred hours to create, texture, blend and present in its own unique way.