The NEON Curatorial Award was established in 2012 to champion curatorial excellence, and is part of an ongoing partnership between the Whitechapel Gallery and NEON, a non-profit organisation in Athens. Building links between emerging curators in London and across Greece, the prize celebrates the exchange of ideas and innovations in the presentation of contemporary art.
Curators were invited by the Gallery to devise an exhibition proposal drawing from the D.Daskalopoulos Collection, which includes over 500 contemporary artworks by 220 leading international and Greek artists. For this year’s Award proposals were submitted by aspiring curators from Greece, as well as students and alumni of Curating Masters programmes in the UK, including the MA in Curating the Art Museum at The Courtauld Institute of Art.
Emily Riddle, who completed her MA in Curating at The Courtauld in September 2016, received the award from Dimitris Daskalopoulos for her submission proposal at a ceremony held at the Whitechapel Gallery on Thursday 15 December. Riddle’s proposed exhibition, XENIA: Guests, Hosts, Friends presents three moving image works from the D. Daskalopoulos Collection, shown together in Athens for the first time, across three venues over the course of two months.
Of the winning proposal Nayia Yiakoumaki, Chair of the judging panel commented: “Emily Riddle’s XENIA: Guests, Hosts, Friends is an outstanding proposal that links ancient Mediterranean journeys with the contemporary subject of migration, addressing strong global issues of current social and political concern. Emily Riddle looks at the D.Daskalopoulos Collection in a new light for both a local and an international audience, as well as making poignant connections between art and archaeology.”
Martin Caiger-Smith, Head of the MA Curating the Art Museum programme at The Courtauld, stated: “Starting out as a young curator these days is not simple: the competition is enormous, and opportunities can be hard to find. So the Neon Curatorial Award is an enlightened initiative, and the opportunity to work with the Daskalopoulos Collection a great privilege. Students from the Courtauld Curating MA have benefited from the Neon Exchange programme for a long while, and we are particularly delighted at Emily Riddle’s success in winning the Award this year. Her exhibition concept plays to the strengths of a great collection and responds to its mission: it’s timely, and inspired.”
Emily co-curated the group exhibition Confusion of Tongues (The Courtauld Gallery, June-July, 2016), and assisted Nada Raza and Chris Dercon in preparing for Bhupen Khakhar: You Can’t Please All (Tate Modern, June-November, 2016). Riddle works part-time as a studio assistant for Peter Liversidge and Nigel Hall RA. Prior to her curating studies, she completed a BA degree in English at Magdalene College, Cambridge.