New York

Ronald Gault Jirado

Annina Nosei

Toss a Burger King wrapper in front of an artwork and see how the work holds up. If it doesn’t lose its cool, it’s safe to say that it has something to do with life as it’s lived in this half of the 20th-century. If it suffers much in comparison, odds are that it’s quagmired in some retrograde idea of beauty. Ronald Gault Jirado’s installation—which offered, in the artist’s own words, "a reconstructing of Eastern/Western customs and ceremonies of philosophical and religious idealogies [sic]”—flunks the Burger King test. It looks alright at first, but it’s pretentious.

Like so many other artists lately, Jirado seeks immanent meaning in elemental materials. This meaning seems intended to be both literal and transcendental and, therefore, capable of cutting through the bothersome complexities of everyday life. But whether or not this artist or any other can really rise above the contingencies

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