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JOHN DI STEFANO is an artist/filmmaker, writer, educator and curator.


John Di Stefano has exhibited internationally since 1985. His work is focused primarily in the moving image, installation, photo-based and time-based media, but has also included performance, bookwork, site-specific and public art projects. Thematically and conceptually, much of his creative practice synthesizes 

traditions of conceptual art and documentary and essayistic practices. In much of his work he examines how concepts and perceptions of memory, space/place, and time shape the articulation of subjectivities so as to reconcile the personal with the social, the everyday with history. His current research interests and projects include: examining notions of temporality and disappearance and the materiality of the temporal; the evolving and hybrid forms of documentary practices in contemporary art; and an inquiry into the essayistic form in current moving image practices.


His video work has won several awards, including the New Vision Award at the San Francisco International Film Festival, and has been selected for official competition at various festivals including the Festival International du Documentaire de Marseille (FIDM). His video work has also been broadcast on American public television (PBS), and in 2001, was cited as one of the “best of the year” by the publication Artforum (New York). His video work is distributed by Video Data Bank (Chicago) and V-Tape (Toronto).

John's gallery-based work has been exhibited internationally in commercial and public art institutions including the Whitechapel Art Gallery (London), Virreina Museum (Barcelona), Pera Museum (Istanbul), Tensta Konsthall (Stockholm), Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), Eastlink Gallery (Shanghai), William Wright Artists' Projects (Sydney), Christchurch Art Gallery (New Zealand), Enjoy Public Art Gallery (Wellington), Bartley+Co Gallery (Wellington), Articule (Montréal), and the BSR Gallery (Rome). Previous exhibitions and screenings include: Videonale - Contemporary Video Art (Kunstmuseum, Bonn); New Filmmakers - Anthology Film Archives (New York); Oberhausen Short Film FestivalTransmediale (Berlin); Barcelona Museum of Modern Art; Kassel Documentary Film Festival; Para/Site Art Space (Hong Kong); Rymer Gallery (Chicago); Hammer Museum (Los Angeles); European Media Arts Festival (Osnabruck); Human Rights Film Festival (Sarajevo); Royal Academy of Art (Copenhagen); Palais des Beaux-Arts (Brussels); Santorini Biennale of Art (Greece); Karsten Schubert Gallery (London). Bruno Brunnet Fine Arts (Berlin); STROM kunstfestival (Cologne); Stockholm International Film Festival; American Film Institute Video Festival (Los Angeles); New Langton Arts (San Francisco); A-Space (Toronto); the New Zealand Film Archive (Wellington); Moving Image Centre (Auckland); Domus Artium Museum (Salamanca); Wexner Center for the Arts (Columbus); Cinematheque (San Francisco).

John has been commissioned to create public art works, and site-specific works for various institutions and venues including the New Zealand Film Archive, and Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE). His work has been included in various public art contexts including FED TV (Federation Square, Melbourne), Projects on Lake (Pasadena, US) and Artbox Project (Wellington).

John’s curatorial projects include Satellite (Shanghai, in conjunction with the Shanghai Biennale of Art), Open Cities (Hong Kong/Chicago), and Not On Any Map (Chicago). He has programmed film and video for the Film Centre (Chicago), the New Zealand Documentary Film Festival (now, Documentary Edge Film Festival), and the Los Angeles International Lesbian & Gay Film & Video Festival. He also co-curated RE:CINEMA for the Sydney Underground Film Festival. He has published in various international journals and anthologies, most notably in Queer Looks (Routledge); in Peter Greenaway's Postmodern/Poststructuralist Cinema (Scarecrow); in Performance: design (Museum Tusculanum) and in Photography & Ontology: Unsettling Images (Routledge); in the visual art journal Art Journal (New York) and in the cinema studies journals Wide Angle and Illusions, among others. His book-works VITALITY [1988] and Unfold [2011] were published by Artextes Press (Montréal) and Enjoy Public Art Gallery (Wellington) respectively.

John currently teaches at Concordia University (Montreal) in the Department of Studio Arts, and in the Department of Art History, where he was Scholar-in-residence (2019-2021). Previously, he was Associate Professor and Head of Screen Arts at University of Sydney - Sydney College of the Arts; Chair of the Video Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Coordinator of Postgraduate Studies at the National Art School (Sydney, Australia); and Associate Professor and Director of Postgraduate Studies at Massey University’s School of Fine Arts (Wellington, New Zealand). He has also been a faculty member at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), at the University of California, at Victoria University (Wellington, New Zealand), and at Université du Québec à Montréal. He was leader of the Art & the Document research group at Sydney College of the Arts, and a founding member of the Photographic Cultures research group at the University of Sydney. He was also a founding member of the Litmus contemporary art research group at Massey University (Wellington), and founding-convener of the biennial Expanding Documentary Conference (New Zealand). John was a desk editor of the international art publication, Art Asia Pacific (Hong Kong/New York) from 2004-2017.


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