Byron Dauncey has a clear and straightforward approach to photography that has captivated the city. Spearheading a street-art movement, his technique of re-photography, placing everyday objects where they don’t belong, results in a sensitive and playful commentary infused with a Dadaist sensibility. Light switches, alarm pulls, plug sockets, and alarm clocks pop up around the city, coaxing the audience to wake up and plug in to their environment. Bona fide street art, it was manipulated and appropriated by others creating a visual art dialogue in Gastown, Strathcona, and Commercial Drive.
Dauncey’s re-photography developed into Bring Back the Spring, in which one-to-one scale re-photography was employed to show the same place at different times. The work conjures the idea that each cycle of time leaves an indelible impression on the next one. Our memories remind us of what may come again. Dauncey’s photography has a warmth and quietness that creates calm around the passage of time and change. The series overwhelmingly exudes a message of hope and recurring beauty.
Re-photography led Dauncey to tackle the usually dense and academic photo-cubism, which he used to create images possessed of the same clarity as his street art. There is a pleasant geometry to his configurations. Oscillation between the real and surreal of the cubist structure is used to see further into the soul of the subject without a disorienting effect. Rather than conflict he creates an open window.
Clarity and simple aesthetics permeate each aspect of this artist’s work. Dauncey’s art has refreshing origins born of a raw and challenging part of the city and his approach is consistently without judgment or commentary, enabling it to capture the beauty lying in each place and time.