The Wishing Fountain is a public art installation in Hamra Street (Beirut) that allows people of the city to share money with each other while raising awareness about the escalating street beggars phenomenon and the increasing privatization and self-centeredness in Beirut today.
The sculpture borrows its form from women street beggars sitting on sidewalks, wishing good fortune for passersby in return for minimal amounts of money, and is intended to create a visible and accessible point in this rapidly privatized Beirut for people to share money for public use.
Beggars, people looking for parking meter coins, night owls looking for to buy a post-clubbing snack and others can pick up the amount they need whenever they need it. It aims to start an active, local conversation about and between people, each other and their city.
While designed to be perceived as a standalone project, The Wishing Fountain is part of the extensive research and writing process leading to The Perfumed Garden. A surveillance camera installed in front of the fountain yielded more than 700 hours of footage mapping visual stories generated by the seeding of this installation. These narratives will be interpreted for The Perfumed Garden as well as separate urban studies.
This project is supported by Ashkal Alwan, The Lebanese Association for Plastic Arts.
Title ········· The Wishing Fountain
Medium ········· Interactive Public Installation
Context ······ Beirut
Year ······· 2015