Saturday, March 23, 2013

"The Maybe" by Tilda Swinton at MoMA

The Gothamist reports:

As if starring in David Bowie music videos wasn't already the coolest, Tilda Swinton has currently taken up residency sleeping at MoMA. It's part of an unannounced, surprise performance piece called "The Maybe" that will be taking place on random days all year. A MoMA source told us, "Museum staff doesn't know she's coming until the day of, but she's here today. She'll be there the whole day. All that's in the box is cushions and a water jug."

"Tilda Swinton will be doing unannounced, random performance art pieces sleeping in a glass box in the museum," the source added. "Today [March 23, 2013] is the first performance. Each performance lasts the whole day the museum is open." Swinton and her box are located near the ticket collectors today, but the box may be in different locations at other performances.

"The Maybe" was first performed in London in 1995 at the Serpentine Gallery; Swinton conceived the performance piece, and asked artist Cornelia Parker to collaborate on the installation. Swinton later re-performed the piece in the Museo Barracco in Rome. Here's what the museum has to say about the piece: "An integral part of The Maybe's incarnation at MoMA in 2013 is that there is no published schedule for its appearance, no artist's statement released, no museum statement beyond this brief context, no public profile or image issued. Those who find it chance upon it for themselves, live and in real—shared—time: now we see it, now we don't."

via The Gotahmist


richard schmidt said...

the internationally famous performance artist Colette has been doing this as far back as the 1970s-its a little annoying to see ms Swinton and Cornelia Parker be referred to as innovative when they are rather crudely imitating what Colette did first with so much more style and visual elegance

Jeff (Geoff) said...

Hi Richard,

Thanks for the comment. Colette was indeed performing sleep pieces in the 70s, but so were a lot of other artists. She was not the first. I think it is a sort of staple of gallery performance art (many years ago I read of a performance artist sleeping under a stairway to an art gallery--I wish I could recall his name!) which continues to this day with artists like Chajana Denharder, and the recent Ukraine exhibit of "Sleeping Beauties" where one was contractually obligated to marry if one woke the sleeper with a kiss!

I haven't seen anyone say that what Tilda or Parker is doing is something completely new and original. Who said that?