2nd Cannons, Los Angeles

William E. Jones
Selections from The Anatomy of Melancholy by Robert Burton

Selections from The Anatomy of Melancholy by Robert Burton telescopes 350 years, the period from the 1620s to the 1970s. It is what artist William E. Jones imagined Robert Burton’s The Anatomy of Melancholy would have looked like had it appeared in the pages of Drummer magazine. In preparing the book, Jones condensed Burton’s vast 450,000-word masterpiece of 17th Century English literature to a small fraction of its length, and paired the excerpts with vintage images of leather men at work and play. Robert Burton was fascinated by the variations of human sexuality, albeit more as an observer than as a participant. He wrote about sex in covert Latin passages that are newly translated in Jones’s book. Selections from The Anatomy of Melancholy by Robert Burton is a delightfully perverse condensation of Burton’s speculations on the sexual proclivities that subsequent generations of gay men put into exuberant practice.

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William E. Jones
Tearoom

Tearoom is a companion piece to Jones’s video of the same name. A work of appropriation, the video Tearoom is a police surveillance film – presented virtually unaltered – of men having sex in a public rest room in Mansfield, Ohio during a three week period in the summer of 1962. This film, used as evidence in court, led to the conviction of over 30 men on charges of sodomy, which at that time carried a minimum sentence of one year in the state penitentiary.

In the book Tearoom, William E. Jones presents the results of research on these cases and on the production of the surveillance film. The book includes a number of historical texts, as well as two new essays by Jones. Tearoom is extensively illustrated with more than 100 film stills, most of them in color. These stills show men from all walks of life who met for furtive sex under the central square of Mansfield, and who went to jail as the result of a law enforcement sting. Tearoom provides a unique view of the clandestine sexual life of a small Midwestern city at the beginning of the 1960s.

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William E. Jones
Heliogabalus


The third release in a series of books by William E. Jones, Heliogabalus pays tribute to the most decadent Roman Emperor. Who was this creature who called himself Elagabalus, after El Gabal, god of the sun? What to make of his addiction to luxury, his overbearing mother, his controversial genitals? Enlightening texts can be found in the latest 2nd Cannons publication. The book features accounts of Heliogabalus by Edward Gibbon, Herodian, Cassius Dio, and the spurious Aelius Lampridius. It also contains a contemporary text, “This Necrophilic Strategy Entails Some Risk,” a collaboration by Bruce Hainley and William E. Jones, previously published only in expurgated form, and now presented with all lurid details intact.

Varius Avitus Bassanius, later known in his infamy as Heliogabalus, ruled Rome from 218 to 222 of the Common Era. After he was murdered by the soldiers who had formerly supported him, his successor, Alexander Severus, ordered that all sculptures of Heliogabalus be desecrated. The iconoclasm directed against Heliogabalus was so nearly complete that very few portraits of him still exist. William E. Jones has somewhat opportunistically dealt with the paucity of images of this imperial person by inserting advertisements from a bygone era at intervals in Heliogabalus. These advertisements, and the book’s design in general, derive from the pages of that avatar of 1970s urban culture, After Dark.

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Bob Nickas
Catalog of the Exhibition 1984-2011

This book brings together new texts written to accompany 79 exhibitions organized by Bob Nickas between 1984 and 2011. Nickas chose one work to represent the memory of each exhibition, and through this visual “lens” he reflects on his activity as a curator, offering many behind-the-scenes views to the art world of the 1980s and 90s, as well as intimate recollections of the artists he worked with, and the art works he encountered over the years. The book, then, can be seen as a sort of memoir. Always placing the artists and their works within a social milieu, while also aware of how art travels across time, he reminds us that both lead multiple lives, as an exhibition can reanimate a work from the past, and occasion the discovery of forgotten and marginalized figures among those who are very well-known. This retrospective catalog is also in many ways an ideal exhibition — or collection — 27 years in the making.

With 90 color and black-and-white reproductions, the book features works by:

Vito Acconci . Richard Aldrich . John M Armleder . Barry X Ball . Lisa Beck . Alan Belcher . Ben Berlow . Walead Beshty . Huma Bhabha . Doug Biggert . Marcel Broodthaers . Henri Cartier Bresson . Graham Caldwell . Vija Celmins . Art Chantry . Larry Clark . Verne Dawson . Jules de Balincourt . Jessica Diamond . Trisha Donnelly . Moira Dryer . Gardar Eide Einarsson . William Gedney . Robert Gober . Daan van Golden . Wayne Gonzales . Felix Gonzalez-Torres . Peter Halley . Richard Hawkins . Adam Helms . Eva Hesse . Peter Hujar . Jacob Kassay . On Kawara . Yves Klein . Louise Lawler . Mark Leckey . Sherrie Levine . Judy Linn . Lee Lozano . Chris Martin . Allan McCollum . McDermott & McGough . Adam McEwen . Ryan McGinley . John Miller . Olivier Mosset . Dave Muller . Chuck Nanney . Bruce Nauman . Cady Noland . Amy O’Neill . Steven Parrino . Laurie Parsons . Raymond Pettibon . Jean Prouvé . David Ratcliff . Alex Rose . Sally Ross . Allen Ruppersberg . Sam Samore . Tom Sandberg . Joan Semmel . Stephen Shore . Harry Smith . Jack Smith . Robert Smithson . Mark Stahl. Haim Steinbach. Rudolf Stingel . Lily van der Stokker . Aaron Suggs . Philip Taaffe . Paul Thek . Wolfgang Tillmans . Betty Tompkins . Josh Tonsfeldt . John Tremblay . Alan Uglow . Kelley Walker . Jeff Wall . Joan Wallace . Wallace & Donohue . Dan Walsh . Andy Warhol . Christopher Wool

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