The winner of The Cartier Award 2009 was the American artist Jordan Wolfson. Wolfson is a conceptual artist, based in Berlin and New York.
Wolfson’s winning proposal was selected from over 450 applications by artists from all over the world. At Frieze Art Fair 2009, Wolfson presented a nomadic seminar on the subject of String Theory that took the form of a walking tour of Frieze Art Fair. Each tour, strictly limited to one person at a time, was guided by a theoretical physicist from Queen Mary University, London, who casually explained the concept of String Theory. The team of physicists was headed by Dr. David Berman, Reader in Theoretical Physics at Queen Mary University, London, and expert in String and M-theory. Each tour was recorded and then transcribed to form the basis of an ever changing, ever growing script that was reenacted by two actors and directed by the artist in Regent’s Park the following day.
The Cartier Award is widely acknowledged as one of the world’s leading art awards. It allows an emerging artist from outside the UK to realise a major project at Frieze Art Fair as part of the critically acclaimed Frieze Projects programme. Neville Wakefield, curator of Frieze Projects, commented: ‘Jordan’s unique brand of poetic conceptualism ranges across the sciences and humanities to create what are at once delightful and perplexing forays into the narratives and myths that colour our times. Especially exciting is the opportunity to bring such complex and sometimes challenging work to the wider audience of Frieze.’
The Award 2009 selection committee was:
Neville Wakefield (Curator, Frieze Projects); Grazia Quaroni (Curator, the Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art) Catalina Lozano (Residencies Co-ordinator, Gasworks); and Mario Garcia Torres (Artist).
The Cartier Award, for emerging artists living outside the UK, was a major initiative in collaboration with Gasworks and sponsored by Cartier.