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Part of 'The Utopian Airport Lounge show' 2010, curated by Juliana Smith with Makan House, Amman, Jordan
Published:


 
‘Transient Terminals’
4-hour action involving public participation, 3 installation structures (frame work, wood, cement and paint)

Al Mahatta, Raghadan, Abdali, and The Nothern Terminal; 

'Momentary spaces of transition, a public space underconstant transformation, relocation and interruption; mapped by ephemeralmonuments resembling the momentum power of change in the growing city of Amman.
 A temporary route connecting the transient terminals in the city of transiturbanity charged by the constant flux of its people who forever shape andreshape it’s being.'

This work investigates the current transformation of theurban public scene in Amman into a business and tourism spectacles, and oneexample of that is Raghadan Bus Terminal in downtown Amman; which has been overthe past 35 years a major transportation terminal, from areas around Amman andto cities like Zarka and Karak. A public space that isused for all aspects of urban life; for connection, transport, for orientation,to meet, to buy, to sell, to exchange, to play, to protest…

In 2006, and with the support of The Japanese Bank for International Cooperation, (which hassponsored several tourist projects in Jordan), a JD7 million makeover , a permanent structure was created to housebus and taxi service along with a modern commercial centre, built on 34,000square metres, and a 12,000 square metres built-up area… a project that is partof a large-scale downtown renovation project..

Consequently and for the construction period,a lot of the local businesses were effected, a number of kiosk owners had to berelocated to temporary facilities on Al Mahatta Street and other temporarytransport terminals in and around Mahatt. But the mainissue was the re-location of downtown-Jebel Hussein service cabs operating lineto the new Raghadan Touristic Complex. Many Jordanians over the period of 35years grew accustomed to the operating line that was changed in the name ofmodernity...Fees had to be paid from the taxi drivers to rent a spot in the newterminal, which a lot found inconvenient since they are already loosing theirpassengers who found the move very problematic.

'Absent monument' acrylics over an ink jet print, 42cm x 29.7cm
'Absent monument' acrylics over an ink jet print, 42cm x 29.7cm
The project failed, and its now a ghost town,a couple of service lines still work from there, the project killed the urbanfabric in the last 7 years, the surrounding shops are now all out of business …  The terminal is once again moved to even a further locationon the peripheries of Amman, and the JD7 million structure that was created isnow accommodating temporary offices until they figure out what to make use ofthe empty 12,000 sq.m.
These projects start in thestreets between the public as rumors, small talks between the vendor, thecustomer, or the different actors behind it. And rumors are as ephemeral as theprojects they are about ..
My initial idea is to encourage rumors,fabrications of urban myths, and involving the local public in the game andusing the taxi service line ( the stops, the cab, the terminal..) to transportnot only the passengers but their rumors too.. Humor is complex, laughter maybe a nervous reaction to our failure to how else to respond to something .

Study models and collages for the ephemeral monument
Gallery view, 
Process documentation at Makan house
The monument represented in the work as a watchtower, is a symbolfor an ephemeral transient state of change in the city; which in the video itis a collage of construction structure; carried around by the people of thecity, a cycle were people are the core of change in their city; yet they are burdenedwith these transformations.
A watchtoweris a harsh representation of the power in the city, which forces changes yettheses changes are so ephemeral as  their effect on the urban public fabricof the city.
Stills form video animation,  8:00 minutes with sound
The on-site performance,
Structures/stops were carried around the four main terminals in the city, first placed at their own terminals, then swapped with the help of the public, marking terminals they are not.