Adel Abidin: Memorial

Three channel video installation

On the third day of the American bombardment of Baghdad in 1991, specificlly the bombardment of the Republic Bridge that’s located in the heart of the city of Baghdad, connecting the two banks of the Tigris River.

With devastation and shock, I cycled there next day. As I approached the bridge, which had been broken off completely in two places, I saw a strange scene: A dead cow on one piece of the fallen bridge. I pushed aside my sorrow for the bridge as the unexpected image occupied my mind, as it was unusual to see a cow in central Baghdad. I started imagining different scenarios about the death of this poor cow. Why was she there in the first place? Where had she come from? Why was she alone?

Lately, I have been consumed with thoughts on our human need to gather, to feel connected and be assured that we are not alone. I remembered that cow, a social animal falling to her death alone. And after nearly 20 years, I envision the circumstances of the horrible ending, as she jumps in vain trying to reach the other side.


Duration: 00’02’56 min. (loop)