The nominees include Tania Bruguera, a controversial Cuban performance and installation artist perhaps best known for a performance in which she sat underneath a giant Cuban flag that she'd woven out of human hair with a dead lamb wrapped around her neck and ate Cuban soil for 45 minutes (pictured); Newark-born artist William Pope.L who most recently contributed to the three-pronged re-interpretation of Alan Kaprow's YARD at Hauser & Wirth; and the Polish video and performance artist Artur Zmijewski, who can currently be seen performing his latest work at MoMA.
The nominees in the writer/curator section are decidedly less sexy and include international curator Sabine Breitwieser, Hou Hanru of the San Francisco Art Institute, and Hamza Walker, who currently teaches at the University of Chicago and used to be the director of that city's public art program. Winners will be announced in early 2010, but I'm gonna go out on a limb and predict that Bruguera is a shoe-in for the artist prize: She once did a performance in Columbia that involved giving the audience cocaine and then snorting it with them. Think of how many more times she could do that piece with $100,000! (At least twice, by my drug price calculations.)