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You may know William E. Jones from his many video works screened at (and often supported by) the Wex. Be there for the launch of his debut novel, I’m Open to Anything.
A perverse and explicit take on the coming of age story, the book follows a young man’s journey through bohemian Southern California in the late 1980s and early ’90s—working in a neighborhood video store, talking about film, and befriending many men (most immigrants) who teach him the finer points of life and sex.
A porno novel of rare ambition and humor, I’m Open to Anything recalls Olympia Press’s heyday, when authors made quick money churning out dirty books, but couldn’t hide the intellectual obsessions that made them writers in the first place. Jones’s previous book, True Homosexual Experiences—a biography of iconoclastic editor Boyd McDonald—celebrated the frank, raunchy language of the first queer ’zine, Straight to Hell.
William E. Jones is an artist, filmmaker, and writer. He has made the experimental films Massillon (1991) and Finished (1997); videos including The Fall of Communism as Seen in Gay Pornography (1998); the documentary Is It Really So Strange? (2004); and many other works, including the essay film Fall into Ruin (2017), about the Greek art dealer Alexander Iolas (1907–87) and his abandoned house in Athens.
Jones’s films have been the subject of multiple presentations at the Wexner Center as well as retrospectives at Tate Modern, London (2005); Anthology Film Archives, New York (2010); Austrian Film Museum, Vienna (2011); and Oberhausen Short Film Festival (2011). He participated in the 1993 and 2008 Whitney Biennials, the 2009 Venice Biennale, and the 2011 Istanbul Biennial. He has been exhibited internationally at institutions such as Musée du Louvre in Paris; Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.
In addition to the books mentioned above, Jones has published Is It Really So Strange? (2006); Tearoom (2008); Heliogabalus (2009); Selections from “The Anatomy of Melancholy” by Robert Burton (2009); Killed: Rejected Images of the Farm Security Administration (2010); Halsted Plays Himself (2011); Between Artists: Thom Andersen and William E. Jones (2013); Imitation of Christ, a catalogue for the exhibition he curated at UCLA Hammer Museum in 2013; and Flesh and the Cosmos (2014). His writing has also appeared in periodicals such as Artforum, Butt, Frieze, Mousse, and White Review. He has received a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship, a Foundation for Contemporary Art Grant, and a Creative Capital / Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writer’s Grant, among other awards. William E. Jones is represented by David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles; The Modern Institute, Glasgow; and Galleria Raffaella Cortese, Milan.
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Talks & More
William E. Jones