Artist Spotlight: Alex Douglas has some suggestions for Doug Ford

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By Megan Mullen

“Fuck dollar beer,” “Fuck you for cutting my OSAP,” “Fuck you Doug, abortion rights matter, LGBTQ lives matter, students matter,” “RESIGN.”

These were just a few suggestions given to Ontario Premier Doug Ford at Alex Douglas’ pop-up installation at Nuit Blanche earlier this month.

Hey Doug, we have some… suggestions was modelled after subway doors on the TTC and invited visitors to leave their suggestions, concerns and uncensored opinions for the Premier on a post-it note stuck to its doors.

Courtesy: Alex Douglas

Frustrated after seeing friends unable to return to school due to OSAP cuts and noticing that many can no longer afford their mental health medication, Douglas decided to protest. 

“I see how this guy who is literally only a high school grad has completely fucked us,” she said. 

The pop-up was set up in Grange Park from 8:30 p.m. until 2 a.m. during Toronto’s annual city-wide art festival, and saw around 300 people participate, according to Douglas. The installation, which started as a blank subway door, was only finished at the end of the night once each visitor had voiced their opinions.

The fourth-year film studies student said that the doors—which serve as a symbol of the city—are a perfect spot for Torontonians to voice their opinions on Ford’s Progressive Conservative government.

“From student cuts, scrapping environmental protection, OHIP coverage cuts and eliminating the Indigenous Culture Fund, we have had enough,” a sign in front of the installation read.

Douglas originally built the door back in March for an art piece about liminality and colonialism but saw an opportunity for the doos to be reused after being inspired by her friend’s sign at the Toronto Climate Strike on Sept. 27. It read, “Hey Doug, can I give you some feedback?”

On the experience at Nuit Blanche, Douglas said it was “really positive and powerful.”

Courtesy: Alex Douglas

“I helped every single person tape their sticky note down and build a dialogue,” she said. “It was really awesome being able to give people an open space to do that.”

Douglas plans for the pop-up to appear at Toronto City Hall and Queen’s Park soon—making the installation into an ongoing protest piece.

To see more of Alex Douglas’ work, follow her on Instagram.

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