Max Dean: Album takes up one of the most ubiquitous forms of photography in the 20th century: the family photo album. During May, Toronto artist Max Dean will appear at various locations throughout the city in his specially configured 1966 Volkswagen Beetle—the Foto Bug— to showcase more than 500 such albums from a collection he amassed over ten years. At each venue, Dean will pass the albums on to willing new owners.

Together, these albums represent a collective moment. For roughly 100 years, starting in the late 1800s, we chose to remember our lives through visual narratives in photographic albums. As Dean has remarked, “Photo albums are the one, and possibly only, story many of us write.”

As photo albums become unmoored from their original, personal contexts, many have entered the public realm as collectible objects. By sharing his collection—essentially an album of albums—Dean invites us to think about the changing nature of photographic objects, to consider anew what these objects meant in the past and what they still mean today. More urgently, he also challenges us, collectively, to preserve our rich visual culture. The collection will live on online as a set of virtual albums.

The AGO will also exhibit a group of albums, donated by Dean, in the Isadore and Rosalie Sharp Gallery, and present the albums readied to go out in the Foto Bug in the Community Gallery during May, including albums made by TDSB students.

Presented in partnership with the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Toronto District School Board. See AGO website for full schedule and “Album: A Public Project” facebook page for the collection’s progress.

Curated by Sophie Hackett

Foto Bug Schedule

Friday, April 27 6 – 9pm: MOCCA, CONTACT 2012 Festival Launch party 952 Queen St W   Saturday, April 28 2 – 4pm: Nicholas Metivier Gallery 451 King St W

6 – 8pm: UTAC, Primary Exhibition opening reception 15 King's College Circle

Wednesday, May 2 6pm – 9pm: AGO, southeast corner of Dundas and Beverley St.

Saturday, May 5 2 – 4pm: 401 Richmond Building, Richmond & Spadina

Wednesday, May 9 6pm – 9pm: AGO, southeast corner of Dundas and Beverley St.

Friday, May 11 5 – 6: AGO, before the Max Dean + Hiraki Sawa talk at 7pm southeast corner of Dundas and Beverley St

Saturday, May 12 2 – 4pm: the Drake Hotel (with Tin Type Studio) 1150 Queen St W

Wednesday, May 16 6pm – 9pm: AGO, southeast corner of Dundas and Beverley St.

Sunday, May 20 3 – 5pm: Distillery Historic District

Wednesday, May 23 6pm – 9pm: AGO, southeast corner of Dundas and Beverley St.

Sunday, May 27 1pm – 4pm: AGO, southeast corner of Dundas and Beverley St.

Wednesday, May 30 6pm – 8pm: AGO, southeast corner of Dundas and Beverley St.