Over the weekend, incredibly weird actress, Tilda Swinton, debuted a performance art piece at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City called “The Maybe,” which involves Tilda sleeping inside a raised glass box. That’s it. She sleeps in a glass box.
She does, however, sleep in a terribly clever, artsy, meaningful way … lying on a white mattress within the glass box with a little jug of water and a pillow, wearing regular clothes, all day, from opening to closing, with nary a bathroom or smoke break.
“Performance art” is a term that makes most people shudder, because you know you’re in for some kind of pretentious, nonsensical bullshit that you won’t understand and will make you want to punch someone in the face. That said, there’s something about the authorized voyeurism of this Sleeping Beauty bit that is strangely appealing.
Think about it. Having the chance to look closely at a sleeping person that you don’t know is uncommon to say the least … much less a famous person. And this box lets you get pretty close … it appears to be barely long enough for her to stretch her legs out. Like a very roomy glass coffin.
It would be more fun if she was in an actual room made of one-way glass, like a police interrogation room, and she just went about her business, eating lunch, chatting on the phone, etc, but coudn’t see or interact with the observers. Or, even better, if it was Johnny Depp. Or Madonna.
No reviews mention if Tilda woke up at all during the day. Obviously, she took some kind of sleeping pill, because otherwise there’s no fathomable way even the deepest sleeper could manage in there. And imagine how badly it must smell in that box by the end of the day. She looks pristine, but even with space-age air filtration, it must get pretty disgusting. On the bright side, she appears to be a closed-mouth sleeper.
Tilda will sleep at the MoMA about six more times before the end of the year, but there’s “no published schedule” for her appearances. According to the Gothamist, even museum staff does not have advance knowledge of when she’ll show up. So whenever she has a lull in her schedule, Tilda just pops a sleeping pill and has a little nap in the middle of one of the world’s greatest art galleries. Celebrities do have awesome lives.
According to a brief statement released by the museum, Tilda does not intend to make statements about “The Maybe” and she’s not promoting a movie. They aren’t even passing out little pamphlets when you walk into the gallery. The piece is, in itself, an extremely creative form of advertising for the museum, guaranteed to draw hopeful crowds, desperate to see an Oscar-winning actress having a lie-down. Overall, the whole thing seems really stupid … but, at the same time, I would love to see it.