Dayna Danger, "Big’Uns," photograph.
Opening Reception at 8pm at Urban Shaman
Artist Talk at 9pm on Friday, June 13, 2014
Location: Urban Shaman Main Gallery
Special performance by Singing with Spirit drum group at 8pm
Artist Talk at 9pm on Friday, June 13, 2014.
Artist Statement: In the current cultural climate, women identified, trans, trans* and non-binary individuals often lack power over their own sexuality. This occurs through misrepresentation, objectification, and violence against us in various types of media, from fashion magazines, to music videos, mainstream adult material, and even hunting magazines. Big’Uns is an ongoing photographic portrait series that explores the reclaiming of sexuality and our bodies. Sport hunting, which has widely replaced hunting for sustenance, uses a language that is violent and oppressive not only to animals but also to women identified, trans, trans* and non-binary individuals. Linda Kalof, Amy Fitzgerald, and Lori Baralt state that within sport hunting discourse “is the sexualization of animals, “women,” and weapons, as if the three are interchangeable sexual bodies in narratives of traditional masculinity.” (Animals, Women, and Weapons: Blurred Sexual Boundaries in the Discourse of Sport Hunting, 2004) They also conclude that “Animals’ physical attributes are described using stereotypical feminine characteristics of appearance.”
An example of this is the common term “Big’uns” to refer to an animal’s antlers. Even though antlers come from a male animal, they are fetishized as being female breasts, in particular, “big ones.” This type of language usage plays a key role in disempowering our sexuality. These photographs are an act of reclaiming power over our own sexualities. This struggle is physically represented by strapped-on antler racks that protrude from our reproductive areas. The antlers, and the tension that they cause, allude to the many factors that women must contend with in order to have healthy relationships, positive self-image, and, of course, sexual relationships. For us these factors include the first-hand experience and/or the intergenerational effects of residential schooling, sexual abuse, and the unrealistic portrayal of our bodies by the media. By repossessing the antlers in this way, we aim to demonstrate a reclaiming of power for women identified, trans, trans* and non-binary individuals and how we choose to be seen.
Biography: Dayna Danger is an emerging Métis/Polish/Ojibway artist raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She currently lives in Montreal, Quebec while obtaining her Graduate Degree in Studio Arts (Photography) from Concordia University. Danger works in digital photography, sculpture, installation, and performance to reinterpret history, traditions, the patriarch, feminism, religion, gender, animalia, fetishism, and girl versus girl mentalities. From August 2010 to 2011 she was an Aboriginal studio work-study in the Visual Arts department, The Banff Centre. In the winter of 2012, she was part of “Trading Post,” an Aboriginal residency at The Banff Centre, led by Candice Hopkins and Raven Chacon. In 2011, her work was displayed at the New Mexico Museum of Art for Santa Fe’s Indian Market.