The Canadian Art Database

Scotiabank Nuit Blanche
Toronto Canada 2013
[Scotiabank Nuit Blanche 2006 to 2013]

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photo: Steve Payne

Max Dean - Toronto, Canada

Cancer is our Story, 2013
Multi-media and street performance

52 - University Avenue & Orde Street

[ photographs ]  [ video ]

Video Installation

“Cancer is our story. This is a true story but there are no facts. There is no author, there is no plot. The location is you, you play all the roles. There is a beginning, middle and end. It is a story so intimate but almost completely unknown to us. It asks for nothing and takes all. It is hard to know and easy to hate.”

The Nuit is dark. The darkened canyon-like hospital walls of University Avenue are less looming tonight. These few city blocks have a unique feel to them, a seriousness not felt anywhere else. The issues and what is at stake are real and very palatable. There is an underlying dread that is hard to escape. Nestled on a float is a large bright video screen. A video story, the artist's take on our story played out by hands alone, hands that make, hands that touch, hands that care. Hands alone. There are many amongst you passing through the crowd who are carrying a great weight. You can sense their vulnerability, feel their focus. Their minds are elsewhere, their hearts are taken. They move through you, you make way for them sensing their need. They move to the light not of the screen but of the hospital door.

Max Dean loves obstacles. For some 35 years he has been putting things in our way. Creating situations that involve us or machines, we are often asked to decide and contribute to the outcome. Most of what he does is by choice, setting up situations and finding a way around them much to our delight. Under this guise many of these seemingly self-imposed obstacles are dealing with the real, those life-inflicted obstacles, we are all presented with. It is not chance or even choice that brought him here.

Toronto Culture / Scotiabank