PAINTBALL FIELD bookwork, 2018
photographs by paula roush printed with a Monochrome Océ Laser on Xerox Bond paper, shot with paintball gun (two tones) by GBH, 118.9 x 84.1 cm each folio, installed on metal table with chipboard top
Paintball Field was made during a residency in the ‘schist’ mountain villages of Portugal. The area has become depopulated and is now being developed as a destination for tourists. The title of the work refers to a local recreation area where visiting families come with their children to play war games using guns firing balls of paint. The photographs conjure up a hunting scene in which a female figure wearing a cork mask – resembling those that were used by the original villagers during carnival – is being pursued. More than a simple ironic take on violence and war, the work draws on ethnographic connotations, evoking a dramatic encounter between the rural traditions of the past and present-day cultural practices.