Past Talks & More | Artist Talks

William E. Jones

I Should Have Known Better


Frequent Wex guest (and past residency artist) William E. Jones returns virtually to discuss his new book, I Should Have Known Better (2021), a sequel to the sleeper hit I'm Open to Anything (2019), expanding the original's scope and ambition.

I Should Have Known Better was produced entirely with the support of a crowdfunding campaign that reached five figures and 150% funding, an unprecedented accomplishment for a literary novel. Bearing witness to the last gasp of Los Angeles bohemia at the end of the 20th century, the novel paints precise portraits of inspired eccentrics devoted to pursuing their dreams, "shopping artists" who believe in nothing but hedonism, and latter-day leftists who find themselves directionless after the fall of communism. Above all, the book pays tribute to the impulsive experiments and intense friendships of youth.

Wexner Center Store manager Matt Reber will join Jones for the conversation, and a Q&A follows the talk.

Please note: this book and talk contain mature content not suitable for all ages.

I Should Have Known Better book cover
Photo of William E. Jones in a photo booth.

William E. Jones

About the author

William E. Jones chevron-down chevron-up

William E. Jones is a visual 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 and has 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.

The Wexner Family
Greater Columbus Arts Council
The Columbus Foundation
Ohio Arts Council
American Electric Power Foundation
Adam Flatto
Mary and C. Robert Kidder
Bill and Sheila Lambert
L Brands Foundation
Institute of Museum and Library Services
Nationwide Foundation
Vorys, Sater, Seymour, and Pease
Arlene and Michael Weiss

Carol and David Aronowitz
Mike and Paige Crane

Pete Scantland
Axium Packaging
Bocchi Laboratories
Fenwick & West LLP
Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams
President Kristina M. Johnson and Mrs. Veronica Meinhard
Nancy Kramer
M/I Homes
Voyant Beauty
Lisa Barton
Regina Miracle International (Group) Ltd
Washington Prime Group
Alene Candles
Fuel Transport
Russell and Joyce Gertmenian
Liza Kessler and Greg Henchel
Matrix Psychological Services
Paramount Group, Inc.
Ron and Ann Pizzuti
Joyce and Chuck Shenk
Bruce and Joy Soll
Clark and Sandra Swanson
Business Furniture Installations
E.C. Provini Co., Inc.
Garlock Printing & Converting
Jones Day
New England Development
Our Country Home
Performance Team
Premier Candle Corporation
Steiner + Associates
Textile Printing
Andrew and Amanda Wise


Past Talks & More

William E. Jones