Recent performance art in Toronto often favours heteronomous platitudes rather than tackling lofty political subjects. If art can still be viewed as means to accessing truth, performance artists must direct their often jarringly absurd practices at
those who enable and subsequently disable the art community from thriving. For those readers who, perhaps, have never tested the waves of public performance art, below is a short guide to staging an Anti-Ford performance piece. These same directions can be reused to disrespect politicians of all levels of government, or any person in power for whom legitimate contempt is warranted.
1. Prepare signs
Nothing says "Screw Rob Ford" like a sign saying "Screw Rob Ford." Though I urge you to be more articulate and pointed in your message, the importance of signage is paramount. A combination of signs denouncing dirty politics or Rob Ford's personal character, as well as signs quoting embarrassing Ford-isms or past legal transgressions will round out the message for your audience.
2. Choose a high-traffic location
While performance art in a gallery is a fun intellectual exercise for gallery goers, the marginal art community in Toronto is far too apathetic to care about local politics. With this in mind, choose a high traffic location like a subway, mall, or busy street to spread your message to a wide variety of people. (See Figure 1 of Starla Bontecou and the Gentleman's "POLICE STATE", an anti-G20 performance art protest piece at Dundas Square in Toronto).
3. Rent a fat suit
The operative word here is "rent." Purchasing a fat suit can be extremely expensive, and could prove to be impulsive and frivolous. In order to portray Rob Ford in his grotesque reality, however, the fat suit is necessary. Smearing your face with ketchup or mustard can also add to the effect. If you are heavy set, the fat suit will only help to bolster your message. The fatter the better. Wear an undersized suit over the fat suit to emphasize the ungodly girth.
4. Get into character
As Rob Ford, it will be your job to scream irrelevant self-serving remarks at anyone who tries to question you. Pay quite a bit of attention to expressing hatred for streetcars and cyclists, and proposition minors for drugs. Stay true to the character of Rob Ford by holding a football under your arm and a gram of marijuana in your pocket.
With your friends holding incriminating signage and your impersonation in place, move around the city to different spots and venues to facilitate maximum exposure to your performance. This is also relevant with other political figures, or generally contemptible evil-doers. When parodying, always aim for the furthest reaches of hyperbole, and make sure to paint the most grotesque picture your mind can fathom.