photo: Steve Payne
Max Dean - Toronto, Canada
Cancer is our Story, 2013
Multi-media and street performance
52 - University Avenue & Orde Street
[ photographs ] [ video ]
“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.