Max Dean (2004-01-30)

Max Dean
Practice: New Media
Date of Lecture: 2004-01-30


Multimedia artist Max Dean has been exploring the complex relationship between the artist, the spectator and the work of art for many years. Living and working in Toronto, Dean seeks to directly engage spectators by inviting them to participate in the workings of the pieces. In a number of his performances and artworks, Dean constructs situations in which the viewer is given the opportunity to make a choice to intervene, in some cases to stop an action from taking place. The viewers actions create consequences, and in many instances, the works success is contingent on this participatory engagement. In his most recent piece entitled BE ME, the participating viewers expression and voice can be brought to animate that of the projected image of the artist. In the award winning piece, As Yet Untitled, a robotic work, three times per minute, puts the choice of the archiving or shredding of a found family photograph in the hands and mind of the viewer. Both works were recently on display at The Ottawa Art Gallery.

As Yet Untitled (detail) – 1993-95

Max Dean was born in 1949 and received his B.A. in art history from the University of British Columbia in 1971. His work has been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions since 1973, including the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt; La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Site Gallery, Sheffield, and the ZKM Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe. Dean lives and works in Toronto and is represented by the Susan Hobbs Gallery.

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