Max Dean Still
Still is Governor General Award-winning artist Max Dean’s two-part project that responds to Ontario Place’s Wilderness Adventure Ride. In both Silo 1 and the ride’s fabricated mountain, Dean uses the log ride’s remnants – which are familiar Canadian figures such as mannequins of moose, bears, miners, and loggers – to play with the relationship between the real, the symbolic, and the artificial. In Silo 1, photographs the artist created collaboratively with Andrew Savery-Whiteway are shown with reconfigured remnants to create an immersive, dioramic installation. These scenes, along with those Dean created inside the mountain, imagine the secret lives the mannequins have lived while the site was closed to the public. Still questions the presumed naturalness of these symbolic figures, modelling the sense that each has thoughts and desires that move beyond the place where they have been contained. Dean’s critique of nature’s constructedness moves throughout the sites, questioning the illusory nature of the Wilderness Adventure Ride’s fabricated mountain, and all that it houses.
Co-presented by Art Spin and Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival.
Max Dean is an artist who works with ideas, concepts and emotions visually. His kinetic and interactive sculptural installations are exhibited and collected internationally. Trained as an art historian Max’s work reflects his comfort and ingenuity in working and mixing both digital and analog technologies. One of his best know artworks the Robotic Chair, a generic-looking wooden chair with the capacity to fall part and put itself back together will be featured as part of Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry exhibition Robot Revolution. Max is a recent recipient of the Governor General’s Award for Excellence in the Visual Arts. Max Dean teaches at Ryerson University and is represented by the Stephen Bulger Gallery.