Hot Docs: Still Max
Available to stream through Hot Docs April 29–May 9
Directed by Katherine Knight
79 min | 2021
Facing a cancer diagnosis, multidisciplinary artist Max Dean asks, “How do we fix ourselves?” Discarded animatronic figures from a decommissioned Ontario Place attraction and wild imagination drive this vivid journey of resilience and creativity in the face of illness.
“All of my work has been affected by my life and my being. It’s not an abstraction. It’s about my reality.” True to his word, Canadian artist Max Dean’s latest creations take the artist’s prostate cancer diagnosis as subject. Striving to visualize the physical and psychological manifestations of his disease, Dean ponders the interrelated themes of time, aging and illness in a number of new works. When his partner, artist Martha Fleury, is diagnosed with an aggressive form of ovarian cancer, he folds her threatening tumour into his installations as well. Creating works of various scales, including defunct animatronic figures from a decommissioned Ontario Place amusement ride, he evokes a sense of wonder and awe. Through the journey of his artistic exploration, Max Dean confirms he is Still Max—always curious and thoughtful, always seeking to know himself. -Aisha Jamal
Stream documentary premieres, pre-recorded Q&As, live events and more at Hot Docs Festival, nationwide April 29 to May 9. All films will be available starting at 10am on April 29.
Presented by Hot Docs in partnership with Stephen Bulger Gallery and CONTACT