Terminal 5 (exhibition)

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TWA Flight Center in June 2004.

Terminal 5 was an art exhibition that took place in October 2004 at the then disused Eero Saarinen–designed TWA Flight Center at JFK Airport in Queens, New York.[1][2] The City of New York had designated both the interiors and the exteriors of the Saarinen terminal a historic landmark in 1994[3] (the building ultimately to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places),[4] but following TWA's continued financial deterioration during the 1990s and eventual purchase by American Airlines, the Saarinen-designed terminal had ended operations in October 2001[5] and entered a period of disuse.

Curated by Rachel K. Ward,[6] Terminal 5 showed the work of 19 artists from 10 countries[7][8] including Jenny Holzer, Scott Indrisek, Dan Graham, Vanessa Beecroft, Tom Sachs, Tobias Wong, Douglas Coupland, Mark Handforth, Anri Sala, Sean Linezo, Jonas Mekas, Aleksandra Mir, Jonathan Monk, Toland Grinnell, Kendell Geers, Ryoji Ikeda, and Jennifer & Kevin McCoy.[2] The exhibit included sculptures, audio installations, lectures and temporary installations drawing inspiration from the idea of travel as well as the terminal's architecture.[8][9]

Originally planned to run from October 1, 2004 to January 31, 2005,[8] it closed abruptly after the opening event when a runway-side door was opened by a guest, thereby breaching airport security and creating a public risk.[2][10][11] Since the exhibition, portions of the original complex have been demolished, and the Saarinen terminal (or head house) has been renovated, partially encircled by and serving as a ceremonial entrance[12] to a new adjacent terminal completed in 2008. Together, the old and new buildings comprise JetBlue Airways' JFK operations and are known collectively as Terminal 5 or simply T5 — from which the exhibit derived its name.

Terminal 5 was selected for Artforum's "Best of 2004".[citation needed]


  1. ^ "TWA Terminal Named as One of the Nation's Most Endangered Places". Municipal Art Society New York, February 9th, 2004. Archived from the original on 2009-08-12.
  2. ^ a b c "A Review of a Show You Cannot See". Designobvserver.com, Tom Vanderbilt, January 14, 2005. Archived from the original on December 5, 2012.
  3. ^ "T.W.A.'s Hub Is Declared A Landmark". The New York Times, City Room, David W. Dunlap, July 20, 1994. July 20, 1994. Retrieved May 25, 2010.
  4. ^ "Saarinen Terminal to Reopen at Kennedy Airport". The New York Times, City Room, David W. Dunlap, February 21, 2008. February 21, 2008. Retrieved May 25, 2010.
  5. ^ "Unusual Planning Duel Over Kennedy Terminal". The New York Times, David W. Dunlap, November 28, 2002. February 21, 2008. Retrieved May 25, 2010.
  6. ^ "Bohemians at the Gate". New York Magazine, Mark Stevens, October 11, 2004.
  7. ^ "2004, "Terminal 5: Now Closed," gallery exhibition at Colette, Paris". Rachel K. Ward. Archived from the original on 2006-02-21.
  8. ^ a b c "Now Boarding: Destination, JFK". The Architects Newspaper, September 21, 2004.
  9. ^ "ART; Now Boarding At Terminal 5: New Visions". The New York Times, Mia Fineman, October 10, 2004. October 10, 2004. Retrieved May 25, 2010.
  10. ^ "Port Authority Shuts Art Exhibit in Aftermath of Rowdy Party". The New York Times, Carol Vogel, October 7, 2004. October 7, 2004. Retrieved May 25, 2010.
  11. ^ "Art Exhibition at JFK Airport's TWA Terminal Abruptly Shut Down". Architectural Record, John E. Czarnecki,, October 11, 2004. Archived from the original on December 5, 2012.
  12. ^ "A New Function For a Landmark Of the Jet Age". The New York Times, David Dunlap, October 2, 2003. October 2, 2003. Retrieved May 26, 2010.

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