Feathers are flying at San Francisco’s Shooting Gallery as Paul Chatem unleashes The Guerneville Goose – his collection of interactive, energy packed kinetic paintings – on the world. Chatem’s scenes are nightmarish flame-filled pits of despair or angry, boiling seas where the protagonists are condemned to face the same struggles and suffer the same fates in perpetuity thanks to the purposefully repetitive cog mechanisms. These devices imbue the already dynamic works with even more vibrancy.
The titular goose pursues its hapless Depression-era victims with violent, spit-filled honks. These suited refugees hide, or are hidden, by masks, which are another recurring feature of Chatem’s tableaux. Other ceremonial and ritual masks leer colourfully from the reclaimed wood. Elements of mythology also make an appearance in subverted form, such as the contradictory ram-women, and the human-bodied, donkey-masked figures are reminiscent of an inverted centaur. The Guerneville Goose collection also boasts some great titles; how about Rough Ridin’ Bull Moose Son of a Bitch for an evocative name? The show finishes 1 February.