Posted inArt

The Art of Middlebrow

When I first heard about Tilda Swinton’s “The Maybe,” an ongoing performance piece in which the actress sporadically sleeps in a glass box at the Museum of Modern Art, I sighed and shrugged and laughed a little. Another unoriginal work becomes a cultural flashpoint — cause for media outcry, cause for real, live spectacle, an unexciting performance sold to ticket-buying tourists as avant-garde. What can you do? But “The Maybe” wormed its way into my head, and I found myself confoundedly returning to it often. It was only a week or two later, and after reading Jason Farago’s takedown in The New Republic, that I realized why I cared: middlebrow.

Posted inOpinion

The Perils of Sleeping in an Art Museum

There seems to be a particular penchant among famous actors for taking to performance art (we’re looking at you, James Franco). But actress Tilda Swinton’s ongoing escapade at the Museum of Modern Art, in which she sleeps inside a glass box, is actually a re-performance of an older piece done before Swinton’s recent turn in the spotlight.