On the occasion of the presentation of the “Code of Conduct for Contemporary Art Collectors”, State of Concept in collaboration with EMST is organizing the discussion “The Ethics of Collecting”. The “Code of Conduct for Contemporary Art Collectors” is a text drafted by a group of collectors consisting of Pedro Barbosa, Haro Cumbusyan, Iordanis Kerenidis, Evrim Oralkan, Jessica Oralkan, Piergiorgio Pepe, Sandra Terdjman and Andre Zivanari, with the aim of creating a paradigm shift in the field of collecting. The discussion “The Ethics of Collecting” aims to highlight issues related to professional conduct and best practices regarding the collaboration between cultural institutions, artists, collectors and other actors active in the field of contemporary art. The panel consists of Piergiorgio Pepe, Iordanis Kerenidis, Ioanna Vryzaki and Paki Vlassopoulou and the discussion will be moderated by Katerina Gregos, Artistic Director of EMST, and iliana Fokianaki, Director of State of Concept. 

“The Ethics of Collecting” is organized by State of Concept, in collaboration with the National Museum of Contemporary Art Athens (ΕΜΣΤ) and marks the launch of the Care-full Growing programme (State of Concept, September 2022-December 2023). 

Iordanis Kerenidis is a Paris- and Αthens-based quantum computer scientist and contemporary art collector. He received his PhD from the Computer Science Department at the University of California, Berkeley in 2004, and after a two-year postdoctoral position at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he joined the Centre National de Recherche Scientifique CNRS in Paris as a Research Director. He has been the coordinator of a number of EU-funded projects including an ERC Grant, and he is the founder and director of the Paris Centre for Quantum Computing. He is currently working as the Head of Algorithms Int. at QC Ware Corp. Iordanis has been collecting art with his partner Piergiorgio Pepe since 2006. The Kerenidis Pepe Collection has organized Phenomenon since 2015, a biennial program for contemporary art on the island of Anafi, Greece, for which they received in 2018 the Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award. Kerenidis was a member of the acquisition committee of the Centre National des Arts Plastiques (2012-2015).

Piergiorgio Pepe is a Paris- and Αthens-based ethics practitioner and contemporary art collector. Through his advisory firm Quantum Ethics, he has advised organizations on ethics and compliance programs since 2018. From 2005 to 2018, he worked as an ethics officer in the pharmaceutical industry. Before then, he worked for 10 years as a senior EU lawyer for an international city law firm in London. He’s also active in academia (Sciences Po, INSEAD, and Seton Hall), where he regularly teaches courses on business ethics and ethics in the art sector. Piergiorgio has been collecting art with his partner Iordanis Kerenidis since 2006. The Kerenidis Pepe Collection has organized Phenomenon since 2015, a biennial program for contemporary art on the island of Anafi, Greece, for which they received in 2018 the Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award. Piergiorgio is a member of the board of the curatorial office Council.

Ioanna Vryzaki (D.Daskalopoulos collection) is the director of the D.Daskalopoulos Collection. Started in 1994, the D.Daskalopoulos Collection is today an extended yet focused collection of contemporary art by leading international and Greek artists. The artworks included in the Collection are drawn from the artistic practice of recent decades and focus on the human body as a source of creativity and the vessel of existential, social and ideological struggle. The Collection’s inner compass is orientated towards the most elemental and universal issues of the human condition. Important artists represented in depth include Matthew Barney, Lynda Benglis, John Bock, Louise Bourgeois, Paul Chan, Robert Gober, David Hammons, Mona Hatoum, Damien Hirst, Martin Kippenberger, Mike Kelley, Paul McCarthy, Bruce Nauman, Paul Pfeiffer and Kiki Smith. In 2022 it was announced that a major body of important contemporary artworks from the D.Daskalopoulos Collection will be donated to 4 museums, in 3 countries over 2 continents (EMST, TATE and jointly to Guggenheim and MCA Chicago) to create a pioneering network of collaborations and synergies.

Paky Vlassopoulou is an artist who lives and works in Athens, Greece. Her work is informed by the dialectics of traditional sculpture making in relation to spatial issues, object hood, functionality and bodily experiences. From time to time she is concerned with thematics that deal with knowledge production, history, ruins and lately with issues revolving around the service providing industries by questioning the role of care and hospitality. In 2012, together with artists Chrysanthi Koumianaki and Kosmas Nikolaou, she co-founded 3 137, an artist-run space operating in Athens, Greece.