Still – Living Through Cancer and COVID
For this solo exhibition by multidisciplinary artist Max Dean, the animatronic figures from Ontario Place’s decommissioned Wilderness Adventure Ride have provided us with this exhibition statement:
Hi again, CONTACT. Like we mentioned in our last letter, things have recently taken a more serious turn. Max has been dealing with prostate cancer and has enlisted our support to explore treatments. We’ve been doing research and photographing our findings. This exhibition includes a photo series picturing our conversations with Max about his illness. For our little family, the disease became the elephant in every room. We decided to make the metaphor visual, constructing the tumour, which grew to the size of the studio. Then we cut the growth in half, bringing it to the gallery for examination.
Cancer then—bang—COVID? Who would have guessed we’d find ourselves in a moment when it’s maybe even enviable to be a mannequin? We have no organs or cells to get sick. Here we are immune. We’re beginning to realize the situation presents some unique opportunities. How can we help others manage these challenging times? How does anyone really manage when, like us, you are constrained and restricted—sometimes by choice, but more often by circumstance?