adel abidin three love songs

Video/sound installation

Three Love Songs explores the multiple ways to use and manipulate images to create juxtapositions of meanings from the mundane to the extreme. This piece examines terror and love, and how façades are played through song, specifically Iraqi songs that were commissioned by Saddam Hussein, which were used to glorify the regime during his reign.

The installation syncs three stylized music videos (lounge, jazz and pop) that each features an archetypal western chanteuse: young, blonde, and seductive. Each video’s dramatic ‘look’ creates a different atmosphere; The lyrics are sung by the performers in Arabic (Iraqi dialect) and are subtitled in English and Arabic. The singers do not comprehend the content of the songs; instead, they are directed to perform, vocally and by gesture, as though the songs were traditional, passionate love songs. that underlines the uncomfortable juxtaposition – between the lush visual romanticism and the harsh meaning of the lyrics.


Video standard: 1080 @25fes (Pal)

We still have the patience,
And the crisis will be trivial
And your palm will be a plate to feed the hungry
Oh father of straight talk, your words are a cure,
You are a head piece (agal) that is the pride of your people
For your eyes many necks can be sacrificed
And to this day the wounds of your enemies have not healed
We are swords, and we only fit in your right hand
Oh protector of the weak and generous to the guest
By Allah (God) we owe our lives to your mustache

Take us with you, and see how we are, lions, we never bow our heads at the time of battle
Our pride is as great as the mountains are high
Oh father of the two lions
Oh father of virility, nothing is as beautiful as your dress
Oh hero, that never slept a night.
If the right hand gets tired, the left hand will fight and if the left gets tired, our teeth will carry the sword
The sea is thirsty, it drinks only from you
You are the light of our eyes and we are the light for you

Enter, and leave it to the strong men,
By Allah we will level the enemy’s necks
The land is free and calls for your protection
Even if we see death we will not give it up
Enter and see how the strong men fight; swords in their hands never splinter
If you point to the star, the star will come
We will wipe America from the map
Justice is with us and God is with us in our hands,
Hard swords will never soften
We will put our flag above the stars our swords will cover the sun
We are not afraid or shaken by a foreigner
For you our lives we sacrifice enter,
And leave it to the strong men,
And our chests will be your shield