Tilda Swinton sleeps in a box at MoMA and Twitter is amused

Actress Tilda Swinton has brought her performance-art piece "The Maybe" to the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The piece requires the Scottish actress to stay inside a transparent box for hours at a stretch.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

The tall stalk of pale, Scottish androgyny known as Tilda Swinton has brought her 1995 performance-art piece “The Maybe” to the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The piece, which requires the Oscar-winning actress to lie inside a transparent box for hours at a stretch, is expected to be performed periodically during the year, according to reports.

MoMA didn’t publicize Swinton’s project, nor has it provided a schedule of her appearances. News of the actress’ arrival to the museum came Saturday from the website Gothamist, which has photos of Swinton lying in a state of repose as museum visitors look on.

Swinton’s “The Maybe” has prompted a number of amused Tweets from cultural VIPs and other observers. Comedian Patton Oswalt tweeted on Saturday: “Tilda Swinton is sleeping in a glass box on random days at MoMA in New York all year. And I just thought of a brilliant heist movie...”


In response, Swinton’s Hollywood agent Brian Swardstrom (whom she thanked profusely when she won the Oscar in 2008 for “Michael Clayton”) tweeted: “@pattonoswalt I’m Tilda’s agent and I’m on the phone with her now. I just read this to her and she said ‘I’m in!’”

Elsewhere on the Twittersphere, playwright David Lindsay-Abaire wrote: “A family of tourists got lost on their way to MoMA and spent an hour at Port Authority watching a homeless guy sleep in a box.”

Ballet star David Hallberg tweeted a photo of Swinton lying in her box. Actor James Franco didn’t tweet about Swinton, but a number of MoMA visitors tweeted that they saw him at the museum over the weekend.

Other Swinton-related tweets can be found using the #TheMaybe hastag. Noticeably quiet on the subject so far is the NotTildaSwinton Twitter account, which parodies the actress’ strange and outre artistic persona.

Swinton previously performed “The Maybe” at London’s Serpentine Gallery and at a museum in Rome.

The actress was recently in London for the opening of the David Bowie exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Not surprisingly, she delivered a bizarre speech, which can be read here. The actress, who is often said to be a dead ringer for the rock star, appeared in a music video with Bowie for his new album.



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