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 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 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.
For more awesome Swinton action, check out the speech about Bowie that she gave at the opening of the huge Victoria and Albert Museum “David Bowie Is” exhibit this week.
Update: It turns out that Swinton and the MoMA have been talking about bringing “The Maybe” here since 2005!
Update: The MoMA clarified that Swinton will be performing “The Maybe” about a half-dozen more times between now and the end of the year, “each unannounced and in a different location in the Museum.”
Update: Check out more pictures and audience reactions from Swinton’s surprise performance at the MoMA on Saturday.