EMDASH Foundation


EMDASH is a philanthropic foundation that encourages and enables significant projects with contemporary artists. Founded by Andrea Dibelius in 2010, EMDASH believes in innovative ideas as expressed through art and interdisciplinary collaborations, and seeks to bring these to a wider audience through its commissions, awards and partner institutions. The range of projects EMDASH has and seeks to nourish is highly diverse – stemming from contemporary art, often in surprising ways and in collaboration with non-art world disciplines or organisations. As part of its Artists Projects series EMDASH commissioned Notes on Protesting from artist Peter Liversidge at the Southbank Centre (2014) and Whitechapel Gallery (2015). In 2013 EMDASH supported the Austrian Pavilion, at the 55th Venice Biennale, in presenting artist Mathias Poledna.

The History of the EMDASH Award


The EMDASH Award has always been a driving force of the Foundation, which was set up in 2010. Launched in 2011, in collaboration with Frieze Projects and Gasworks, the EMDASH Award was originally given to artists under the age of 35 living outside the UK, and has since expanded its remit to include artists of all ages irrespective of nationality. The prize is now focused on performative art and the winning artist has the opportunity to realise a new project which is commissioned by EMDASH and presented in partnership with an institution or museum.

What are the judging criteria for submissions?

The EMDASH Award judging panel will shortlist artists who engage in outstanding performance or performative art. There are no restrictions based on the age or nationality of the artist.

Why does the art world need another award?


The EMDASH Award was founded on the basis that there are no awards in Europe that focus exclusively on performative art. EMDASH has a close relationship with artists and the EMDASH Award was founded to provide new opportunities for artists of this discipline who can encounter a lack of funding for non-commercial projects.

What is the monetary value of the award?

The impetus behind EMDASH is to bring innovative ideas to a wider audience through its commissions and the Award is a continuation of this goal. The EMDASH Award will provide the award winner with the ability to realise a new project. There is no set monetary value for the award since it will depend on the nature of the project proposed by the winning artist.

What is the selecting and judging process?


A panel of jurors who change year on year, including EMDASH Foundation founder Andrea Dibelius, will evaluate each application before creating a shortlist of artists from which the winner will be selected.

Where will the project be realized once the artist gains the award?

Each year EMDASH will collaborate with an art organisation or museum to present the new commission by the winning artist. The partner organisation will be chosen according to suitability with the individual artist’s work and proposed project.  Through these partnerships with different organisations, diverse audiences will be able to engage with performative practice.

Why was the award put on hold?

Following the partnership with Frieze Projects and Gasworks, EMDASH focused on commissioning projects in partnership with institutions such as Whitechapel and ICA, featuring Peter Liversidge and Nástio Mosquito. During this time research was undertaken to shape the future direction of the Award. For 2016 the Award has expanded its remit to include emerging artists of all ages irrespective of nationality and it was decided to focus on performative practice.