Opening Reception, Free -- Sep 12th 6 pm - 9 pm
Byron Dauncey’s photography has a straightforwardness and clarity that first captivated the city in the form of street art. Dauncey spearheaded what in hindsight can be understood as Vancouver’s most intense and vibrant period for this anarchic and yet refreshing form, those years just prior to the Olympics before city officials began to scrub clean our alley walls. Dauncey’s work in this period is singular and persuasive. Deploying photography with a Dadaist sensibility, Dauncey specialized in the everyday object strategically displaced: light switches, alarm pulls, plug sockets and alarm clocks. All these appeared throughout the city in places where they didn’t belong and yet precisely where they would coax the passerby into a more wakeful and plugged-in engagement with their environment. Being street art, this work was intensely mimetic, provoking imitation and refraction in the work of numerous other artists, the effect of which was to shape – collaboratively and competitively, depending on the moment – a resonant dialogue in the streets, alleys and laneways of Gastown, Strathcona and Commercial Drive.
Clarity, simplicity, openness and human scale. Memory and the moment now. A Dadaist’s wink to the absurdities of contemporary preoccupations. These are the elements that permeate Dauncey’s work. He is a genuinely refreshing presence in the city’s art community, which exists at a raw and challenging moment in Vancouver’s history. Dauncey’s work approaches the site of its creation without judgment or commentary, but using a language and sensibility that enables it to capture the beauty of moments and places in sudden and transformative juxtaposition.