Dayna Danger – Big’Uns
Dayna Danger’s monumental series Big’Uns is an ongoing photographic portrait series that explores the reclaiming of sexuality and bodies in a cultural climate in which women, Trans, and gender non-conforming people often lack power over their own sexualities. The series co-opts the aesthetics of high fashion magazines, music videos, mainstream pornography, and hunting magazines to produce high-octane, self-possessed, and confrontational depictions of marginalized sexualities and gender identities.
Collaboratively produced by Danger and the photographed individuals, the series mines a wide variety of media that often serve to disempower and engender violence against women, Trans, and gender non-conforming folks. The title Big’Uns finds roots in sport hunting, which has widely replaced hunting for sustenance. In the discourse of sport hunting we encounter “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) The slang applied in sport hunting to rack size is a common colloquialism which is applied when fetishizing breasts. In their portraits, these individuals wear antlers as strap ons, a blatant and unapologetic rebuttal to the violence imposed by a culture of colonialism and toxic masculinity.
“The antlers and the tension that they cause, allude to the many factors that we 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, Trans and gender non-conforming people and how we choose to be seen.” – Dayna Danger
Dayna Danger is a visual artist, organizer and drummer. Danger holds a MFA in Photography from Concordia University. Through utilizing the processes of photography, sculpture, performance and video, Danger creates works and environments that question the line between empowerment and objectification by claiming the space with their larger than life works. Ongoing works exploring BDSM and beaded leather fetish masks negotiate the complicated dynamics of sexuality, gender and power in a consensual and feminist manner. Danger has exhibited their work nationally and internationally in such venues as Art gallery of Alberta, Edmonton AB; Urban Shaman, Winnipeg, MB; Warren G Flowers Art Gallery, Montreal; dc3 Projects, Edmonton; Roundhouse, Vancouver; Art Mur, Berlin; and the New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe. Danger has participated in residencies at the Banff Centre for the Arts and at Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art. Danger currently serves as a board member of the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective (ACC/CCA). Danger is an Artist in Residence through Initiatives for Indigenous Futures at AbTeC. Danger is a 2Spirit, Métis – Anishinaabe(Saulteaux) – Polish, hard femme who was raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Treaty 1 territory, homeland of the Métis.