What do these frightening pictures represent on this mural at the Denver airport?
January 24, 2012 5:36 AM   Subscribe

What do these frightening pictures represent on this mural at the Denver airport?
posted by sybarite09 to Media & Arts (15 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Ther eare a few MeFi threads which might give you some insight:
here & here
posted by pointystick at 5:44 AM on January 24, 2012


Well: DIA Conspiracies Take Off

But:
There are several conspiracy theories relating to the airport's design and construction. Murals painted in the baggage claim area have been claimed to contain themes referring to future military oppression and a one-world government. However, the artist Leo Tanguma, said the murals, entitled "In Peace and Harmony With Nature" and "The Children of the World Dream of Peace," depict man-made environmental destruction and genocide along with humanity coming together to heal nature and live in peace.
posted by pracowity at 5:47 AM on January 24, 2012


DIA Conspiracies Take Off

Also, wikipedia.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 5:48 AM on January 24, 2012


Ignoring any of the conspiracy talk, I read the pictures mostly as a "its a small world" type mural advocating peace and unity.
posted by Jacen at 5:57 AM on January 24, 2012


As for specific representations of each image, I don't know. The soldier looks like a Nazi to me.

But the overall theme looks like "triumph of the human spirit" to me. All kinds of different people are confronted by challenges; they suffer, fight and are ultimately triumphant. With some "America is a melting pot" thrown in too.
posted by gjc at 6:03 AM on January 24, 2012


The original artist, Leo Tanguma, has statements on his website, here and here.
posted by gimonca at 6:34 AM on January 24, 2012


They have strong reminders of Soviet Communist propaganda art - utterly bleak, with military-inspired images that were cold and haunting...

Those folks in the back rooms of Denver airport were out of their minds in choosing these for their airport!! Airports are to be a source of calm for returning and departing passengers; seagulls, oceans, waterfalls, not a terrifying experience.
posted by Kruger5 at 6:42 AM on January 24, 2012


I guess it does seem kinda "its a small world", like Jacen said.

But it immediately reminds me of the Soviet-era mural on the ex-Luftwaffe building Detlev-Rohwedder-Hausin in East Berlin, just meters away from where one of the the last bits of the wall still stands.

(Due to the mural's placement, where all the workers had to walk along it every day on their way into the office, it's kinda difficult to photograph the whole thing)
posted by Diag at 6:45 AM on January 24, 2012


DIA's baggage claim area is also home to this gargoyle.
posted by carmicha at 6:50 AM on January 24, 2012


Response by poster: I guess I was worried about the children that see this before boarding a plane. For some adults it's upsetting enough to fly and have to look at this, but if I were a child, I really don't know what terrible thoughts would be going through my mind.
posted by sybarite09 at 6:50 AM on January 24, 2012


Completely anecdotal, but I flew through DIA all the time as a kid and it never scarred me. The paintings aren't in a place that lends itself to serious study -- mostly you just pass by them in 2 seconds between the ticket counter and seconds when minds are still mostly focused on finding where you're going, all the people around you, getting food, or putting everything together for security. They're not in foods courts or by the gates or anywhere where you have enough time to sit down and really loom at them. You get a much better look at them on internet photos than you do passing by them in the airport.
posted by lilac girl at 7:31 AM on January 24, 2012


DIA's baggage claim area is also home to this gargoyle.

There's also an 30 foot tall hell-steed outside the airport that literally killed its own sculptor.

Denver, man.
posted by theodolite at 7:37 AM on January 24, 2012


I've flown in and out of Denver a gazillion times since the airport was built and I've never seen these! I'm in Denver now, and you can bet I'm gonna be looking for them on my way out.

The only weird story I've ever heard about the airport was the demonic bronco statue.
posted by jasper411 at 7:45 AM on January 24, 2012


I too grew up flying out of DIA and always thought the murals were cool-and-not-scary. Also, they're not on the (usual) pedestrian path INTO the airport - you generally check in on floor 5 and head down to the center of 4 for security and trains. These are on floor 4, but on the peripheral hallways leading from the trains and out to baggage. So at least the kids get scared on the way home, not on the way onto the plane :)

I wish more airports had subversive and creepy art. It could make flying fun again!
posted by Wulfhere at 8:26 AM on January 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


DIA is my favorite conspiracy theory. I suspect that the design and implementation of that airport was a reality show on some other planet. I hope it was called "Project Runway."
posted by Lyn Never at 9:27 AM on January 24, 2012


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