Once I had to organize an exhibition in which I showed a book of drawings belonging to Doug. The book was something of an oversized notebook in which all his ideas for sculptures and paintings, anecdotes, souvenirs, weather forecasts and questionings were all drawn together in mysterious fictional landscapes.
The book was a sort of fantasy world Doug had created where all kinds of different thoughts were given a place to exchange and interact with each other, like juvenile chromosomes in spinal marrow.
His installations are in part realizations of certain scenes or combinations appearing out of the drawings and paintings. The large paintings are views of the fictional landscape and sometimes allow themselves to work as backdrops for the sculptures in the foreground.
The combinations of subjects and motifs alternate in ever-changing formations, with an importance on looping and repeating one’s self like the reels of a fruit machine, the same popular images spinning different combinations.
Imagine you’re at a small train station somewhere in the middle of Germany.
Inside there is a glass corridor with a small convenience store on one side and on the other side there is a windowless fruit machine hall that looks like a smoking room full of fruit machines.
With another two hours to go you decide to try your luck on one of the machines. There are about 20 of them. There’s also someone else, a Chinese man playing on one of the machines.
When you are about to put a coin in the slot, he suddenly comes over to tell you that he was already playing this machine. You then notice that indeed it still has credits. The man is playing two fruit machines at the same time. You pick another and are about to put some money in it when the man comes back to you – he is playing this machine too. He is playing three machines!
It turns out he is simultaneously playing ALL of the twenty fruit machines in the train station.
You go away to maybe see about the store.