Several artists selected to exhibit will create work that responds to the architecture.  American artist Jenny Holzer has proposed a project that will appear in the form of a projection on the exterior of the structure.  Italian artist Vanessa Beecroft creates performances that call into question the individual in relation to the group and location. American artist Dan Graham will create a work that encourages interaction with the existing space. His work also indicates a generational dialogue of the exhibition as Graham is part of the mid century conceptual artists who were leaders in site specific projects.  Artists of a younger generation such as New York artist Tom Sachs, recreates architectural constructions in small scale for expansive interior installation.  Japanese artist Ryoji Ikeda will create a sound installation that encloses part of the site to create an individual architectural setting.
Terminal Five was created at a transitional moment in aviation history. From the beginning, it was destined for a future that would never arrive.  Air travel was shifting from propeller planes to jetcraft, making Saarinen's design obsolete before it was ever constructed.   When the site was vacated in 2002, progress collided with itself in an unprecedented situation.  The terminal was incompatible with present aviation technology but could not be transformed because it represented architectural and aviation history. The building has remained suspended. This phenomenon serves as a platform for an exhibition.

Terminal Five will function like an airport to assemble individuals and groups from five continents.  Participants will respond to the site and the transitory nature of travel, architecture and contemporary art.  Works will address transition, expectation, suspension, destination and passage of time, among other concepts.  Artists are invited to select locations within the air terminal for installation of new work.  The site remains fairly intact to the original design.  Staircases, luggage carousels, information and ticket counters, passenger and VIP lounges, gift shops, dining areas and the tunnel walkway will be used for new works.  The terminal wide sound speakers will also be employed.
An independent exhibition curated by Rachel K. Ward
for the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey.

Curatorial Statement


A traveler has a ticket, identification, luggage and a destination.  For a traveler, everything has been leading up to this moment, to the cusp of the next event.  What came before is traded in for what is to come. This is the moment of the airport, of departure and arrival.  It is in contemporary art that we observe the same phenomenon, where what has been becomes what could be.  The airport is not a destination, nor art the final answer, but both represent possibility.

An airport is a waiting ground, a station between, a non-place.  It is the site where disparate elements convene for an instant, where the chaotic mix of agendas and crowded indifference can somehow reveal one agenda, simply being human.  When architect Eero Saarinen designed the TWA Terminal he created an uncompromising structure responsive to the human experience of travel.  The terminal suggests that any place, even one occupied for a moment, even one not intended as a destination, can become forever imbedded in your memory.  Through expansive arches, a tunnel walkway and walls of glass offering abundant natural light, his terminal provides a series of impressions that  reveal the transformation of travel.

Vanessa Beecroft
Kendell Geers
Anne-Flore Cabanis
Ken Courtney
Dan Graham
Toland Grinnell
Fabrice Gygi
Mark Handforth
Jenny Holzer
Ryoji Ikeda
Mathieu Laurette
Jennifer and Kevin McCoy
Aleksandra Mir
Jonathan Monk
Anri Sala
Tom Sachs
Santiago Sierra
Tobias Wong
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Terminal Five represents an innovative moment in aviation history when air travel was shifting from extraordinary to accessible.  In the early 1960's air travel was still considered posh and indulgent. The entrance to Terminal Five will be transformed by the work of two artists who recall this historical moment. New York artist Ken Courtney's Papperrazzi uses live photographers at the opening and flash bulbs in installation that create an impression of being photographed. This work will be accompanied by Red Carpet by Swiss artist Daniel Ruggiero to imply that what is now common and regulated was once glamorous and exclusive. Under the supervision of founder Jonas Mekas, Anthology Film Archives will present film dating from the year the building was first in use.  The enclosed windowless VIP lounge will function as the time capsule screening room.
Airports involve a considerable amount of orchestration.  The planning and preparation for a flight can often consume more time than that on board a plane.  Artists have also proposed projects that involve the regulation of air travel. French artist Matthieu Laurette will reconsider the corporate history of the terminal. Both Swiss artist Fabrice Gygi and British artist Mark Handforth create minimalist work that concerns the ideological structures of power and control at the airport. Sanitago Sierra will create a work that responds to the customs process.  South African artist Kendell Geers creates work that responds to fear of attack and terrorism.  American artists Jennifer and Kevin McCoy will work with the concepts of surveillance and security that are indispensable for the travelling experience.  Brazilian artist Assumed Vivid Astro Focus creates work with haphazard unpredictability representing the chaotic and disorientating experience of international travel.

Air travel involves expectation and the desire to experience the destination.  French artist Anne-Flore Cabanis reconsiders the idea of journey and destination by creating an imaginary path through the entire exhibition.  This path will be indicated at the opening reception using a sound chain of violinists. American artist Toland Grinnell creates custom designed travel equipment that suggests the contemporary preoccupation with safe adventures and luxury travel that diverts from the reality of the destination. British artist Jonathan Monk responds to the element of memory and the way in which travel is creating memories to be retold, to be transformed into souvenirs.
The airport is the ultimate contrived place, organizing travellers and providing waiting space. Essential to waiting is shopping at an airport gift shop. As part of the exhibition, artist and designer Tobias Wong will be creating an installation utilizing the former airport gift shop. This duty free space will host products/multiples curated by Wong and includes invited "traveling participants" such as Colette of Paris,  Art Metropole in Toronto, agnes b. / Hans Ulrich (offering the complete Pointe d' Ironie project for the newsstand). The luxury cigarette counters will host work by artist Richard Prince (Cow Boy Prints mirroring the existing vintage Marlboro light box advertisments). In the sunken seating area of the main terminal will be a space for additional projects concerning the act of waiting. A series of artist videos will be presented by artists such as Anri Sala of Albania and historic work by Saarinen’s colleague Charles Eames. These videos will be mixed with live televsion and film via satellite set to change unpredictably and cause the exhibition viewer to wait for the art work.  This space will also serve as a live performance space for a presentation by Issey Miyake, an artist gameshow Sean Linezo's Staremaster and for performances by artists such as French electronic performer Guillaume Ollendorf. An international collective of net artists, under the direction of Columbian artist Alejo Duque, will use the space to present a three day streaming of Chris Marker's 1962 film La Jetee presented live and online with simultaneous participants at three other international airports. Finally the waiting space will serve as a place for the presentation of guest lectures and an artist panel. A catalog of the exhibition is also planned which will include photographs by Lewis Baltz of the terminal as found vacant, prior to the exhibition.
Terminal Five is an independent exhibition curated by Rachel K. Ward for the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey.

Terminal Five is a free standing, vacated air terminal.  The exhibition will provide an interim use of the space, though the ideal use is what was originally intended: a terminal for travelers and airport operations.  Terminal Five will bring contemporary art into the site and further the public encounter with the space, contributing to an understanding of travel, art and architecture. As a project for the early 21st century, it offers a new model of how to respond to existing resources in public space with an experience of what is left behind and what is to come.
Assume Vivid Astro Focus