'The Abyss Stares Back' confronts us with an aerial view of Guantanamo Bay, a lingering spectre of ideological hypocrisy. In the distance we see King Solomon’s Temple, fabled to include a hole into which ancient monsters were hurled – creating a mythological parallel with the politically significant landscape. Four bullriders – a recurrent motif in Cheung’s practice, evoking the four riders of the apocalypse – straddle the landscape like placeholders on a board game. The painting’s title refers to Friedrich Nietzsche’s “Beyond Good and Evil”, Aphorism 146 (1886): “He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.”
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