26 Sept – 10 Nov 2007 - Unosunove Gallery, Rome Italy



God is on Our Side (solo show)

Curated by Raffaella Guidobono

Preview 26 Sept 2007

‘.... Tron meets the New Testament’
Visitor of Gordon Cheung’s Paradise Lost Exhibition, 2007

Gordon Cheung’s Laing Art Solo has retranslated the entire 24 Black and White Paradise Lost prints of John Martin who illustrated the epic poem of John Milton. It is the biblical story of the fall of the rebel angels into Hell and the temptation of Adam and Eve and their consequent eviction from paradise. For Cheung he sees this archetypal story as having a metaphorical relevance to the way how we have entered the 21st Century with a marked urgency in the way we exist in harmony with nature but also that the dominant ideology of consumerism and Capitalism have parallell similarites. Both operate with dynamic systems of fear to motivate believers into a ‘progressive’ movement by promising paradise/riches or hell/poverty. The prints by John Martin became the focus of his new body of work for the Laing Art Solo and commission as they were a perfect convergence of his interests allowing him to reflect his interests in power and belief systems and our obedience to them.

Cheung uses the Financial Times stock listings as a metaphor for the virtual space that surrounds all of us. He suggests that there is a belief that Economics is the faith of a secular people and that it is the fundamental binding agent of faith that we believe that markets work. In fact markets as an idea bear the attributes of God: what is today considered to be omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient? Perhaps not a divine bearded figure sitting in the clouds but something called the market. We even talk about the invisible hand with a kind of metaphysical grasp when in fact economics is all about the visible hands either shaking or slapping one and other depending on who’s hand is who’s. By using Christian imagery he ambiguosly converges the images of religious belief and those that are rooted in the overarching economic ideology of consumerism. By doing so Cheung collides them and forces parallell readings so that we raise questions ultimately as to why humanity needs these meta-ideologies.

Unosunove Gallery
Palazzo Santacroce
via Degli Specci 20
00186 Roma Italia

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