Tilda Swinton MoMa: Sleeping Actress Exhibit is Not Art


When I heard some lady was sleeping in a glass box and calling it art, admittedly, I was intrigued. Is it a commentary on rape culture, a throwback to the pioneering work of Coco Fusco, or a new initiative empowering women to occupy their own space?

Sadly, it is none of these. It is simply a British actress (Tilda Swinton) showing the world how she sleeps. It is a sad day for art when some random British actress can sleep in a museum and all the homeless people have to sleep outside. 

The Twittersphere seems to agree with this point. As @jscottcanion says on Twitter, "How about making Tilda Swinton hang out outside Penn Station all day and letting a homeless person take a nap at MOMA? #TheMaybe"

Andrea Peyser's rant in the New York Post sums it up for me:

"Tilda who? Swinton, perhaps the least-known Academy Award winner this side of her home in Scotland (she won for 2007’s Michael Clayton), is vying for the kind of fame whoredom one usually cannot buy while keeping her clothes on. She’s Lindsay Lohan, minus the shoplifting. Kim Kardashian, minus the pregnancy, greed and major booty." 

It would be a funny April Fool's joke, but sadly it is true. The details? Swinton will be sleeping in an elevated box six more times this year. But it is all unplanned, you can't plan your weekend around a trip to the MoMA to see her sleep. Alas! The glass box includes cushions as well as a water jug. The surprise performance piece is called "The Maybe". A source from the MoMA told Gothamist, "Each performance lasts the whole day the museum is open," the source also said that Swinton and her box were located near the ticket collectors, but the location may change for future "performances." 

There is a British lady sleeping in a box and the MoMA has decided to deem it art. The world of art world must be running out of ideas.