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JOHN STATHATOS: THE BOOK OF LOST CITIES

ART CENTER 10/01-07/02/2006

Opening at 20:00 on Tuesday, 10 January 2006

The Book of Lost Cities


PRESS RELEASE > John Stathatos: The Book of Lost Cities

At 20:00 on Tuesday, 10 January 2005, ACG Art of The American College of Greece inaugurates the contemporary art exhibition entitled John Stathatos: The Book of Lost Cities.

ACG Art Curator, Megakles Rogakos, who in 2004 organized the exhibition John Stathatos: Lumen at the Athens Art Gallery, presents here a selection from The Book of Lost Cities by the artist. Writing about this work in a recent issue of Kathimerini newspaper, art critic Nikos Vatopoulos noted that "it leads us into a world of imagination, memory and the attempted decipherment of the past".

The Book of Lost Cities plays upon the ambiguous nature of the photographic image, upon the powerful authority of scholarly texts and upon the fluctuating interpretation of historical and archaeological evidence. It is also a commentary on the way landscape is shaped and interpreted by history. Finally, like history itself, it is a labyrinth weaving truth and fiction into an inextricable whole.

Writing in Camerawork of San Francisco, the distinguished artist Joan Fontcuberta noted that "John Stathatos has taken over from Marco Polo and tells us, more than several hundred years later, of Daedala and Gauzaka, Tigranocerta and Arkiotis. In The Book of Lost Cities, Stathatos reviews, with photographs and text, a Borgesian labyrinth of unearthed cities", while the critic Jean-Christian Fleury commented in Photographies Magazine (Paris) that "Between reality and fiction, John Stathatos introduces an infinity of nuances which end up undermining both these concepts. Legends, historical fact and pure invention are mixed up and rebound off each other, just as image and text contribute to each other's legitimisation: spinning about its axis, the entire system finally becomes a machine producing poetry".

The Book of Lost Cities consists of backlit transparencies housed in wooden boxes reminiscent of museum display cases, each accompanied by an original text and a schematic map. Originally commissioned by the International Photography Encounters of Arles, the work was subsequently exhibited in London, Paris, Athens and Thessaloniki. In autumn 2005, an artist's book of the same title was produced by ex pose verlag in Berlin.

John Stathatos: The Book of Lost Cities will be open at the Art Center of the College from 10 January to 7 February 2006, 09:00-21:00 Monday to Friday.

NEWSLETTER 10/01/2006

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