Anything Goes in the Pursuit of Art, (Obviously)

You may have read about the “performance art ” piece presented by Tilda Swinton at New York’s Museum of Modern Art this past weekend.  Being the backwood’s clodhopper that I am, I had to ask my more erudite wife to explain to me who Tilda Swinton happens to be.

On learning that she is an actress, I Googled an image of Ms. Swinton in order to see if I was familiar with her.  When my vision returned, I quickly hit the back-arrow button on my browser and continued to read more about her MOMA “performance.
As you can see, this particular work of art consists of Ms. Swinton taking a nap on a mattress enclosed in a large glass box.

A card mounted on the box read, “living artist, glass, steel, mattress, pillow, linen, water, and spectacles.”  I was quite relieved to learn that this detailed explanation had been provided because who, upon observing this work first hand, would have been able to figure all of that out on their own?

Swinton plans to repeat her work of art several more times, but the schedule for those showings is unknown even to the staff of the museum.  Apparently the timing will be solely dependent on when the actress feels a good snooze coming on.

A spokesperson for the museum explained that, “The element of uncertainty is key to the work itself.”  Of course, this is just artistic bafflegab which can easily be translated as, “I don’t get this either, but I’m not about to risk my elitist credentials by agreeing that this is just plain garbage.

Upon reading further, I learned that this piece (of what, I am unclear) is part of a larger performance art work entitled, The Maybe, the first installment of which debuted in London way back in 1995.  I can only hope that another eighteen years will pass before Part 3 inflicts itself on an unsuspecting world.

In the meantime, I’m penning a proposal to the Museum of Modern Art for my own original and innovative piece of performance art.  Inside of an enormous aquarium, I’m proposing to sit on a rickety wooden chair at a kitchen table eating Rice Krispies, while reading the Sporting News, and drinking coffee.

The card on the exterior of the aquarium will read, “real live southern boy, rickety chair, table, bowl, Rice Krispies, sports scores, coffee, and cup.”  Just in case the patrons aren’t quite sure what they’re looking at.

By the way, there’ll be no sequel to my performance.


Photo from


6 thoughts on “Anything Goes in the Pursuit of Art, (Obviously)

  1. Ms Swinton is an odd bird to be sure but, I do enjoy her acting. She was the perfect in “The Lion the Witch and the
    Wardrobe”, and very good in other films as well. Always a bit ( or more than a bit ) bizarre in everyday hijinks though! 🙂

  2. I think you should take a laptop and post your observations about the museum patrons from inside the aquarium – interactive art!

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