Skip to Content

Art Gallery of Ontario

Keyword Site Search

Max Dean: Album

May 5 – December 14, 2012

Max Dean: Album takes up one of the most ubiquitous forms of photography in the 20th century: the family photo album. In 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 400 such albums from a collection amassed over ten years. At each venue, Dean will pass the albums on to willing new owners, in a new public project that is part of the annual Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival (May 1–31).

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. In sharing his own 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 is also challenging us, collectively, to preserve our rich visual culture.

Experience Max Dean: Album in one of three ways:

  1. See the family photo albums that the AGO has acquired from Dean's collection, on display in the Isadore and Rosalie Sharp Gallery at the AGO. From May 5 to Sept 9.
  2. Explore Waiting Room in the Community Gallery of the Weston Family Learning Centre and see the albums as they are documented and prepared for their tour around the city in the Foto Bug. This group of albums includes 21 designed by elementary students from the SW1 Family of Schools in the Toronto District School Board. From May 1 to 31.
  3. And visit the Foto Bug! Here’s the schedule of where you can find it, and when. The Bug will also make impromptu cameo appearances throughout May – follow us on Facebook and twitter for the latest alerts.

The collection will live online as a set of virtual albums. See the Album: A Public Project Facebook page to follow the collection’s progress

Max Dean: Album – Foto Bug schedule

Friday, April 27
6–9 pm: CONTACT 2012 Festival Launch party at MOCCA, 952 Queen St W

Saturday, April 28
2–4 pm: Nicholas Metivier Gallery, 451 King St W 6–8 pm: Primary Exhibition opening reception at UTAC, University of Toronto,

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

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

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

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

Saturday, May 12
2–4 pm: Drake Hotel (with Tin Type Studio)

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

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

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

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

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

This exhibition is organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario

Share and Enjoy: