Meeting on an Informal Trail
 
Kindness is Thought Joined With Action
 
The World is All Around You
 
Send and Receive a Message Using a Well-Known Code
x
Your Hobby Could Become Your Life’s Work
x
Build a Gadget for Home, School or Camp Use
x
Your Future Can Take Any Shape You Like
x
Memorize the Basic Rules of at Least One Team Game
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Illustrate A Simple Subject Using Exaggerated Action
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Trading Licks May Seem Like A Friendly Exchange
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Know And Understand The Promise
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Young Men Declare Harmony!
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The Old Guard is Dead!

 

INT. Gallery space – The Old Guard is Dead! - Daryl Vocat

ONE and TWO shuffle casually through a gallery looking at the walls. The conversation is already part way through.

ONE
Does this make any sense to you?

TWO
Well, sort of. I think it’s some kind of gay thing.
But I don’t really know.

ONE
That seems about right, there’s the one with the kids playing spin the bottle

TWO
Oh right, and the one where they are holding hands. It’s totally a gay thing.

ONE checks cell phone.

ONE
I think all he really did was cut up some pictures and put it together like this.

TWO
It’s like how things change when you get older, like how something that used to seem really scary is just kind of…

ONE
Boring?

TWO
Yah, like sharing a lollipop. It’s kind of…whatever.

ONE
Do you even like lollipops? I remember getting them at Halloween, they were always my most hated candy.

TWO
Totally. Like when you think you are getting green apple and it’s that pukey mint thing.

ONE
These are silkscreens right?

TWO
I think so, that’s what they do on t-shirts.

ONE
Mostly they just look like some kind of print out.

TWO
Mostly don’t “get” art

TWO makes air quotes.

ONE
I think it’s made by people that are a bit slow, and are trying to relive their childhoods, or something they’ve seen somewhere else.

TWO
Like if I just take a picture from somewhere and restage it and then restage it again, right? like those kids in The Shining. That’s them again, only not.

ONE
Oh! I never saw that until you said it, but that’s totally it.

TWO
I always wanted to ride my bike with my eyes closed, but I was too scared I’d get hurt.

Scene cuts before conversation finishes.

 
The characters in this series of screen prints imitate the worlds, images and scenarios surrounding them. At the same time, they struggle with ambiguous sexual feelings, and navigate social encounters. The images capture feelings that are unexplained, forbidden, and secret. These boys show what lies beyond the assumption of childhood innocence. Although these illustrations appear to be simplistic, cartoon-like depictions of young men, further consideration reveals a complex world. In this world, a sense of narrative grows out of the works’ serial nature. The original style of the source material is preserved, ideologies are constructed, and hidden worlds are stumbled upon.

This work combines photographic imagery of green spaces shot around the Toronto area in parks frequented by men seeking anonymous sex. Overlaid onto these landscape photos are redrawn, and recombined illustrations from boy scout handbooks. Although the landscape images have a loaded source, their location in not identifiable in the final works.

The characters in these images, removed from their ‘home’ environment, are displaced into another world, and left to fend for themselves. This clash of styles and environments is used as a metaphor for the process of growing up. These boys exist in the space between how they are expected to behave, and how they want to behave. They fumble through moral experiments while haphazardly staking out their own territory.

 


Each print in this series is 18 x 24 inches and is screen printed on Maidstone paper. They are printed in four process colours (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) with additional layering or solids on top. All images are part of a small editions of 5 or less. This body of work was created in 2009.

For more information about purchasing or to make specific arrangements, please send email to

Thanks to the Toronto Arts Council for their financial support.