Tilda Swindon Sleeping at MoMA

Actress Tilda Swinton will be sleeping in a glass box at MoMA at unannounced times between now and the end of the year. It’s part of a performance piece called “The Maybe.” “Those who find it chance upon it for themselves, live and in real shared time,” the museum said in a statement.

This is definitely one of those “is this art?” moments. What do you think?

P.S. More awesome art: Swings, indoor playground, whispering secrets, and marrying Prince William.

(Photos by Gothamist, via Kottke)

  1. Yes, this is art to me. I think art is meant to create a reaction, connect with the viewer and get the viewer to think about the world. I think actors are most certainly artists as well and Tilda is very talented. It’s funny that we try to define what art is when it’s very existence challenges it’s definition constantly. My favorite thing about art these days is performance and installation work that brings people together face to face. We need more things that do that in this world.

  2. I’m not really a fan of these art installations. Call my tastes conservative or old fashioned, but I think of art as something pretty and that appeals to my tastes. An actress sleeping in a museum/gallery is meh. It just strikes me as pretentious. I know that people say art can be anything that gets people talking, but I call BS.

  3. I suppose anything could be art. That is something to be decided by the viewer, I think. I personally, do not think this is art. Unless of course… she’s an avid sleep talker. Then it would be kind of entertaining. : )

  4. I pitched sporadic naps to my boss as part of an “experimental project” here at my office job. He did not go for it.

  5. This reminds me of Marina Abramovic’s piece at MOMA that i wish i’d gone to. I’d love to happen upon Tilda by chance, but in the days of Twitter the cat is probably out of the bag as soon as she appears in the glass box.

  6. lol, so silly. i wonder how much she’s getting paid for that?

  7. Not art :) thanks for actually asking the question! but super cool blog <3

  8. Interesting. She’s v. ‘alternative’, have you seen her in the video for David Bowie’s latest single? I wonder if she’s actually ASLEEP or just pretending to sleep.

  9. I think it’s neat even if it isn’t art in the way we usually think of it. Art is pretty hard to nail down a solid definition for anyways, when you get down to it. I wonder if she actually sleeps in there. I’m not sure I could, being in a weird environment with so many people around. Could you?

  10. Hasn’t this been done a few times before? Maybe I am just thinking of that Sex and the City episode as others have mentioned, but I’m pretty sure this road has been traveled down its just this time its a celebrity…

  11. Almost as artistic as when you could sit opposite an artist & stare at them for as long as you could – one of their past exhibits!!

  12. That would be soo cool to see! Funny Art maybe?

  13. Art, yes. Good art, no.

  14. It causes a reaction – takes people out of their comfort zones – oh yeah it’s art.

    • So does burping in an elevator. I think that’s an insufficient condition.

    • This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. As a massive Swinton and art fan, I would definitely file this under “art”. The woman is living, walking art. Look at her!

  16. Performance art is definitely art!

  17. a says...

    This is AWESOME. Thanks for sharing!

  18. When I first saw this I thought, how is this art? How boring. But I guess when you think about it, we’re all works of art (Gods). I guess we should all make placards with our name and what we are wearing and wear them around our neck. She is no more a work of art than I am. I’m just sayin.

  19. Very cool. Half the fun is seeing how people react to this sort of “happening.”

  20. Swinton did this once before in 1995, in London at the Serpentine Gallery. I remember a newspaper report about a man banging on the glass and shouting, “wake up you stupid b*tch!” or something like that. I think the piece is kind of awesome and interesting.

  21. ah! Just realized the commenter before me was on the same “page” as me!

  22. Reminds me of the SATC episode when Carre and Charlotte go see the exhibit of the woman who doesn’t sleep and they see Alexander Petrovsky!

  23. Haha! Am I the only person who laughed out loud at how ridiculous this is? No one would care about this piece if not for her celebrity. Reminds me of the last season of Sex and the City when Carrie meets the Russian at a similar art exhibit. I just can’t take this seriously. I sincerely hope she’s donating any profits made to charity.

  24. tilda swindon is my spirit animal. i love that ice queen! so random and only in nyc haha

  25. You got a typo in your title. thought i’d point out so you could fix it. Love the blog!

  26. As a horrible sleeper, how is she doing this? I have to be in the dark and read a few pages before I can actually get my eyes tired enough for bed. What is her secret?

  27. I love Tilda Swinton. She makes me want to bleach my hair, chop it off and dress like a spaceman. Maybe it’s research for an upcoming role? And very reminiscent of Marina Abramovic.

  28. Filed under “random and, let’s be honest, a little weird” .. But aren’t all the greatest things in that category? :-)

  29. This comment has been removed by the author.

  30. That makes me think of the Sex and the City episode with the performance art installation with the knife ladders! ;)

    • HAHA! I had the same exact thought.

  31. Only Swinton and only at the MoMa :) Hope I get the chance to see it!

    • Or an early april’s fool joke? Hard to tell in this case.