by Alexandra Papaisidorou
EMST, which was founded twenty years ago, reopens its doors today May 14, after being closed for several weeks due to the pandemic, with an extensive presentation of its collection and the exhibition Ubuntu: Five Rooms from the Harry David Collection of contemporary African art.
As the Minister of Culture and Sports, Lina Mendoni, stated on Gregos’ appointment “With her international experience, her rich exhibition and publishing history and her numerous collaborations with international institutions, Katerina Gregos is the person who can lead EMST to its new era: towards a museum of contemporary art that is welcoming to the public, active, dynamic, at the forefront of developments in culture and which serves to unite the visual arts community in Greece.
The aim of this new era of EMST is to contribute decisively to the enhancement of Athens as a major European centre for contemporary creation, which will promote the work of Greek artists, engender and promote innovative ideas and foster a dynamic and meaningful artistic dialogue. As a focal point of culture in the city of Athens, EMST is a key part of the network of new museums in the city, which now highlight Athens as a top cultural destination".
The Undersecretary of Culture and Sports, in charge of contemporary culture, Nicholas Yatromanolakis, stated, “Contemporary museums need to be hospitable, generous and always open to new perspectives in contemporary culture. In this context, Katerina Gregos is the ideal choice, as she combines the international experience, the artistic track record and the vision for the artistic programme of EMST, as well as the skills to promote contemporary Greek art, in dialogue and within the context of the international art scene, through a dynamic museum".
For her new position as the Artistic Director of EMST, Katerina Gregos said: "After working 15 years abroad, it is a great honor for me to take over this position and to have the opportunity to offer to my country through the development of the most important institution of contemporary art ".
Katerina Gregos is an art historian, curator, and writer. Educated in London at the Courtauld Institute of Art, King’s College and City University, she has curated numerous international exhibitions and biennials including more recently the 1st Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art, the Goteborg Biennial, Manifesta, Contour – Biennial of Moving Image, and E V+A - Ireland’s Biennial, among others.
She has also curated three critically acclaimed national pavilions for the Venice Biennale, firstly for Denmark with the international group exhibition on freedom of speech, Speech Matters (2011), Personne et les Autres: Vincent Meessen and Guests, also an international exhibition which explored colonial modernity and Belgium’s colonial history (2015) and Traces of Disappearing: In Three Acts, a solo exhibition of Igor Grubic for the Croatian Pavilion (2011). She began her professional life as the founding director of the Deste Foundation’s Centre for Contemporary Art in Athens.
In 2006, following an international competition, she was appointed artistic director of the Argos - Centre for Audiovisual Arts in Brussels and moved to the Belgian capital, where she has been based until today. Following her tenure at Argos she worked as an independent curator, whilst also serving also as artistic director of Art Brussels.
In 2016 she was appointed curator of visual arts of the non-profit Schwarz Foundation (Munich/Athens). Her curatorial practice, which - for the last twenty years - has consistently explored the relationship between art, society and politics with a particular view on questions of democracy, human rights, economy, ecology, crises and changing global production circuits, has been distinguished internationally for its steadfast vision and coherence.
Gregos’ most recent curatorial project is the exhibition Modern Love: or Love in the Age of Cold Intimacies, which was presented at Museum fur Neue Kunst in Freiburg (2020/21) and is traveling to Tallinn Art Hall (EE) later this summer and then to IMPAKT Media Organisation, Utrecht (NL), in the winter of this year.