Annika Thiems wins 2019 NEON Curatorial Award with an exhibition featuring Rivane Neuenschwander's 'Continentals'

Annika Thiems, a recent graduate from the MFA Curating program at Goldsmiths College, London, has been awarded the 2019 NEON Curatorial Award. The prize aims to build links between emerging curators in London and Greece and is part of an ongoing partnership between Whitechapel Gallery, London, and the Athens-based nonprofit NEON.

Now in its eighth year, the annual prize invites emerging curators to devise an exhibition proposal that draws from the D.Daskalopoulos Collection. Annika Thiem was honored for her submission, 'On Air, On Water,' a three-part radio broadcast that explores two meanings of the word "wave"- a water wave and radio transmission wave - to explores ideas of cultural identities in flux. This imaginary exhibition includes work by three artists-Rivane Neuenschwander, Navine G. Khan-Dossos, and Nadeem Din-Gabisi. The presentation is centered on Neuenschwander's 'Continentals' (2008), a large sculptural work comprised of a basin filled with cloudy water with smaller empty basins floating within it.

Commenting on Thiems's proposal, the jury said: "Annika chooses both material and immaterial ways to address a post-national condition and cultural identities in flux. The water provides a strong metaphor for this and the work Continentals is ideal to initiate such conversations. These dialogues, which are in the form of radio broadcasts transmitted from the independent project space Radio Athènes in Athens, are produced through residencies and give great possibility for further expansion and outreach."

The judging panel comprised Adelaide Bannerman, curator at Tiwani Contemporary and producer for International Curators Forum, London; Galini Notti, an Athens-based independent curator; Catherine Wood, senior curator of international art at Tate Modern; and jury chair Nayia Yiakoumaki, curator of Archive Gallery.

The award was presented at a ceremony at Whitechapel Gallery on Friday 13 December 2019.