John Stathatos (born Athens, 1947), Greek photographer and writer.
Based in London, 1970s-1990s, where he studied at the London School of Economics and was Executive Editor of the student newspaper, The Beaver as well as Editor of two issues of Clare Market Review. Active as a poet and freelance photojournalist in the seventies, he published several volumes of poetry in English as well as translations of modern Greek poetry with British small and independent presses. Collaborated with poet and writer Ian Robinson on a number of projects, including Independent Press Distribution and the short-lived magazine Telegram. Journalism led him to cover stories in Kurdistan, the Spanish Sahara and the Philippines for various newspapers, including the Guardian and the Sunday Times.
He later became increasingly involved in photography, exhibiting his work in venues such as The Photographers' Gallery and Camden Arts Centre; alongside his own work, he published reviews and essays on photography and the visual arts in many magazines including Creative Camera, Art Monthly and European Photography, and also became known as a curator. In 1993 he founded Untitled: A review of contemporary art with Mario Flecha, which he edited until 1998.
His writing, criticism and curating have contributed to establishing Greek photography on the international photographic scene. In 1997, he curated the large survey exhibition Image & Icon: The New Greek Photography, 1975-1995 for the Greek Ministry of Culture, and wrote the text for the accompanying 380-page catalogue; exhibition and catalogue represented the first in-depth critical study of contemporary Greek photography, and established the term ‘New Greek Photography’. The exhibition subsequently toured to Britain, Canada, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. His critical writing includes extensive monographs on the Greek photographers Andreas Embirikos, Panayotis Fatseas and Maria Chroussachi, as well as publications and essays on many subjects including photography and landscape and photography and the fantastic.
His principal photographic works include Homage to Melville (1988); Three Heraclitean Elements (1991); The Gardens of the Hesperides (1993); akea (1994); The Book of Lost Cities (1996), which won the ‘Aide au projet’ prize at the Rencontres Internationales Photographiques at Arles in 2004; lumen (2004); lithoi/stones (2006); airs, waters, places (2009) and Change (2012).
On the side, he took part in the world’s last two true intercontinental rallies to be held on open roads. In 1974 he competed in the London-Sahara-Munich World Cup Rally, in which he finished, though outside classification. In 1977, he drove in and wrote an account of the 1977 London-Sydney car rally, a 30,000 km competitive drive across Europe, through Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan into the Indian sub-continent before traversing the Malay peninsular and crossing Australia from Perth to Sydney by way of inter alia Alice Springs, Melbourne and Adelaide. With his co-driver, Erling Jensen from Denmark, and driving a Peugeot 504TI bearing entry number 5, he finished in 27th position. The Long Drive was published in 1978 by Pelham Books Ltd, London.
- Clare Market Review
- Susan Meiselas, Kurdistan, In the Shadow of History, Random House, New York, NY 1997. See pp. 197-200 and 310-311 for examples of photographs and dispatches from Kurdistan.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-06-10. Retrieved 2012-01-24.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-10-06. Retrieved 2014-10-03.
- Alexandra Koroxenidis, "Encounters with the photography of Greece", Kathimerini newspaper, 11 November 2002, Athens; online, http://www.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/news/civ_1KathiLev&xml/&aspKath/civ.asp&fdate=11/11/2002 Archived 2014-10-06 at the Wayback Machine.
- Three Heraclitean Elements. CD Press, Cambridge 1991. With an essay by Ivan Gaskell.
- The Gardens of the Hesperides. Camera Obscura, Thessaloniki 1995.
- ákea: atonements. Wigmore Fine Art, London 1996. Texts by Clifford Myerson & the artist.
- The Book of Lost Cities. Ex pose verlag, Berlin 2005. With essays by Yves Abrioux and Joan Fontcuberta.
- Airs, Waters, Places. Tetarto editions, Athens 2009. With an essay by Alexandra Moschovi.
Publications on Photography
- The Invention of Landscape: Greek Landscape & Greek Photography, 1870-1995. Texts in English & Greek. Camera Obscura, Thessaloniki 1996.
- Photography in the Visual Arts (editor). Academy Editions, London 1995.
- Myth and Landscape (editor). Greek text. European Centre of Delphi, 1996.
- A Dream of Urbanity: Art and the City (editor). Academy Editions, London 1996.
- Image & Icon: The New Greek Photography, 1975-1995. Texts in English & Greek. Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki 1997.
- Maria Chroussachi: Photographs 1917-1958. Texts in English & Greek. National Gallery, Athens 2000.
- A Vindication of Tlön: Photography & the Fantastic. Texts in English & Greek. Thessaloniki Museum of Photography, 2001.
- Fotofrachtis: I fotografies tou Andrea Embirikou (“The Photographs of Andreas Embirikos”). Greek text. Agra, Athens 2001.
- Archaeologies. Texts in English & Greek. Thessaloniki Museum of Photography, 2003.
- Ways of Telling: Photography & Narrative. Texts in English & Greek. Thessaloniki Museum of Photography, 2004.
- I Andros tou Andrea Embirikou. Greek text. Agra, Athens 2004.
- Charetismata apo tin Andro. Tachidromika Deltaria, 1900-1960 (“Andros Postcards, 1900-1960”). Greek text. Kairios Library, Andros 2007.
- Panayotis Fatseas: Prosopa ton Kythiron, 1920-1938 (“Panayotis Fatseas: Faces of Kythera, 1920-1938”). Greek text. Tetarto editions, Athens 2008.
- John Stathatos: Images & Selected Writings
- Dry Light: Notes on photography in Greece
- Intute: John Stathatos
- Iro Katsaridou, "Photography in Greece 1970-2000: the development of the theoretical discourse and the institutions"
- Iro Katsaridou, "Institutionalizing Photography: Cultural Pluralism and National Institutions"
- Kythera Photographic Encounters