The Wonders of The Heavens and Flying” by Susan Narduli

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Date: 1995 - 2005

Region: North America

Subject: Nudity

Medium: Mixed Media Sculpture


Artist: Susan Narduli

Confronting Bodies: Los Angeles World Airport agency

Dates of Action: June 2001

Location: Los Angeles International Airport, CA

Description of Artwork: The eternal human craving to fly was symbolically expressed in naked male figures imprinted in stone.

The Incident: The city’s Cultural Affairs Commission approved conceptual drawings of the figures provided by the artist in 1999. After unveiling of the piece, which was part of the renovation of Terminal No. 4 by American Airlines, a few airport employees complained that naked men might offend the sensibilities of visitors to the world’s third busiest airport. Following this warning, the Los Angeles World Airports agency, which runs the airport, demanded that the life-size images be covered with brown paper until the Cultural Affairs Commision conducted a second review of the project.

Results of Incident: The National Coalition Against Censorship made an appeal to the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs urging them to avoid setting a precedent in re-reviewing public art work after it has already been approved by the Department. The incident reached the media. “It’s a bad idea for individuals to try to pick and choose what the public is or isn’t going to be offended by – they usually get it wrong,” said David Halle, a professor of sociology at UCLA, in the Latimes.com. Eventually the idea of the re-review process of the project was dismissed and the original figures remained.

Source: www.latimes.com, NCAC