To the editors:
In response to Justin Hayford's review of "Engaged Objects," at N.A.M.E. gallery ["Slices of Life," March 11], I feel that it is my duty to give the reviewer a brief geography lesson. Hayford criticizes Steve Jones for hammering a nail into a globe in his piece "Open Sore Series, #2" on the grounds that "it made little sense to me." Hayford is "unconvinced that (Jones) knew what his piece was about." Largely, Hayford's confusion lies in the fact that he seems not to know what the world is about. The quoes from "American political figures" included a paragrpah from a speech delivered by Jeane Kirkpatrick on the state of third world nations. In the speech Kirkpatrick asserted that third world peoples should be subject to the imperialist activities of the major industrial nations, because theyw ere used to it, because it was their natural condition to be of inferior development--we rule them because they cannot rule themselves. When Jones hammered the nail into the globe, the American university educated reviewer should have been keen enough to notice that the "open sore" created was Nicaragua. Barring the fact that this crucial detailw as missed, the tip off should then have been Jones' lam,entations, "Oh God, I knew this would happen. It happened before. Oh shit. Oh no, I didn't think this would really happen again." Maybe Mr. Hayford is unaware that the United States government has played ball i Nicaragua before, and that before it was amistake. Maybe Mr. Hayford jsut doesn't know where Central America is. In any case, it is obvious that Jones knew what his piece was about, much more so than the reviewer. Jones' piece had the effect of pointing out the ironic myopia of art historians and critics. Hayford saw that Jones was spoofing the art critic, but he missed to what degree. Jones' art historian was the analogue of the blundering imperialist. Jones' globe was a "kinetic, audience-participatory readymade"--how close indeed that seems to the pompous attitude of world leaders towards underdeveloped nations. Jones' historian saw the art object as only an object, as we see to see Nicaragua as only a stepping stone on the path towards our own development. It would seem that the greatest irony of this piece is that the reviewer "missed it"--so I guess the joke is on him.