Ronald Jones

In 1985 Ronald Jones organized an exhibition for the Nexus Contemporary Art Center in Atlanta, where he lived at the time. Entitled “Public Art: A Blunt Instrument,” the show introduced Southerners to contemporary art that responded to the knotty historical predicament outlined in Jean Baudrillard’s essays on the “simulacrum,” which Jones quoted on several occasions in his catalogue text. Baudrillard’s Simulations was first published in English two years earlier, and was therefore only beginning to acquire the rank of cult classic in an art world ravenous for a “paradigm shift” or, failing that, at least a theoretical alibi and a shiny new tag. In his reading of Baudrillard, Jones found reason to believe that artists could destabilize the petrifying effects of a social syndrome that the French sociologist described in terms of the “reality principle."

Ever since then, Jones has produced

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the December 1989 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.