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War-Toys Brian McCarty

"The WAR-TOYS project seeks to explore war from the perspective of children living in its day-to-day reality. Because cognitive ability is often ahead of language development, children typically share their experiences and cope with associated feelings through indirect methods of communication, such as art and play. As a result, their personal accounts of war often go unseen, even when studying its affects. Through WAR-TOYS, I use a collaborative process to unlock and articulate children’s experiences, turning the language of play into serious dialog."

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, used to glorify the regime during the decades of his rule.

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 but the songs dedicated to Saddam Hussein tie them together. The lyrics are sung by the performers in Arabic (Iraqi dialect) and are subtitled in English and Arabic. The singers do not know what they are singing about, but they are directed to perform (though voice and gesture) as though the songs were traditional, passionate love songs. It is this uncomfortable juxtaposition – between the lush visual romanticism and the harsh meaning of the lyrics, between the seduction of the performer and comprehension of the viewer – that forms the main conceptual element of this work.

http://www.adelabidin.com/video-installation/three-love-songs

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