Tilda Swinton’s Sleeping In A Box In The MOMA

March 25th, 2013 // 53 Comments

“Excuse me, sir, you’re supposed to stare at the white woman through the glass.”
“Not today. Not today…” *rests fingers on chin*

Because art is a living breathing organism that sometimes get sleepy, Tilda Swinton will randomly appear in a glass box at the MOMA without warning and let people watch her take a nap for a performance piece titled “The Maybe.” Via Gawker:

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 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.

In related news, James Franco has just announced his own piece for the MOMA titled “The Probably.” He describes it as a “bullet-time imagining of perceived reality” where he’ll randomly walk into a men’s restroom stall and cry that “those dicks didn’t ask him to sleep in a box” leaving any who chance upon him to decide to call the police should they discover he’s also masturbating to photos of himself. “I like to believe most will find it kinetic even though I have no clue what that word means and just thought it sounded cool. May I hump your coffee?”

Photos: Splash News


  1. Raj

    What an ego she must have, but what do you expect from an actor!
    It would be more fun to throw mayonsie on her, and see her get all pissed-off when she wakes up.

  2. Don Draper's Dad

    I hope someone draws a penis on her face.

  3. “Art” is such horseshit. Get a fucking talent and create something I can’t if you want call it “art”.

    • This is what public funding of “art” gets us. public money is handed out by politicians and their wives, all desperate to be seen as having a keener eye for the aesthetic than everyone else. The result is money gets tossed at people urinating on a crucifix, or sleeping in a box.

      You know what’s great about GOOD art? People actually LIKE it. People will pay money to see it, and own it. Good artists can actually make a living making good art. If you can’t make a living selling your art, it’s because nobody wants to own it, and by definition that means it sucks.

      Everyone is entitled to their own opinion of what is good art or not, but we have to remember that “it fucking sucks” sometimes really is the correct answer.

      • Shasta

        I love you both.

      • McFeely, can you provide a source for this “public money is funding Tilda Swinton sleeping in a box” accusation? Or do you just incorporate that “bullshit art only thrives because of government grants” argument into every rant against art you don’t like or get? Because I’m pretty sure Tilda Fucking Swinton has enough money to self-fund having a box built for her and showing up to sleep in it for a couple hours every so often.

        As for the “GOOD art = people actually LIKE it” take, Tilda-in-a-box actually proved very popular over the weekend, enough so that MoMA and Tilda trended heavily on Twitter when this happened. (And before you make fun of me for being on Twitter, McFeely, I should tell you I know that you set up your own Twitter account, as you (tried to) set up the link on your profile page. You just haven’t done anything with your Twitter.)

      • Let me add that I’m not defending this artwork (although I’m more pissed off at everyone who’s excited about it because it’s a movie star who’s doing it). I just don’t care for these frequently misinformed knee-jerk rants against modern and contemporary art.

      • “This is what public funding of “art” gets us”

        I guess that sentence confused you. I didn’t say the government was paying Tilda Swinton to sleep in a box, I said this kind of shit is a direct result of art being driven by government funding rather than public approval.

        You know as well as I that if it wasn’t a celebrity farting in a glass box, nobody would give a shit. It’s “popular” because its’ that weird looking chick that people are pretty sure might be an albino and was in that one movie that they can’t remember offhand.

        Also, since you brought it up, the fact that my twitter and facebook profiles go nowhere is intentional. God help me if I ever find myself using phrases like “trended heavily on Twitter…”

      • The popularity of Tilda-in-a-box over the weekend should be no indicator of the quality and more an indicator that NYC is full of fart sniffers.

        If I can smoke a joint and come up with this shit over a bowl of fruity fucking pebbles, the shit isn’t art.

      • James Franco was part of this weekend’s popularity of Tilda in box, further confirming my suspicion that said art is shit. That douche and LeBeouf can smell a fart a mile away, and fuck knows they’ll come runnin’.

      • Take a pic of your toilet bowl full of runny turds, half digested fruity pebbles, and a smoldering roach on top, and that’s some art right there! You could frame it and sell it to Yoko Ono for half a mil I bet!

      • MOMA is on city owned land, they don’t pay rent, in exchange for their agreement to provide free admission to anyone and everyone. They charge $25 for admission, and all their signage in the entryway is designed to obscure the fact that payment is optional. So yeah, public money IS funding this crap.

      • That’s the Metropolitan Museum of Art, not MoMA. But hey, thanks for playing!

    • Frank Burns

      While visiting a cousin in NYC, my family and I went to The Guggenheim, which was hosting a display of ‘modern art’ pieces. One such piece on the floor was titled ‘Rock Bridge’ and consisted of duct tape strung between two pegs, with rocks on the top of the tape. While photographing the museum itself, a tourist with a camera backed into ‘Rock Bridge’, bending the bridge and scattering rocks across the floor. Was a great work of art ruined forever? Nope, the nice museum security guard lady kind of shrugged and put it back together herself before going back on her rounds. None of the auteurs I saw standing by it later knew the difference.

      And that is a critical difference between modern art and classic art. One is a beautiful, rich, representation of life painstakingly recreated by highly skilled artisans, and the other is a piece of crap easily reconstructed by a nearby hourly worker.

      • Shasta

        At least they didn’t go ultra-dadaism douche by calling it a transcended work of art since the tourist breaking it wasn’t something they could control. Fuck dadaism. This is why we can’t have nice things.

      • Plot Twist: The museum security guard and tourist are the REAL art…the tape and rocks are just their prop. Also, you were really dead all along.

      • the real punchline? when you saw the sign in the museum lobby saying admission costs $25, you could have given them a penny and walked right in! it’s on city owned land, and funded by taxpayer$$, and is required by law to allow anyone who wants in, for no charge (but they’re allowed to ask for donations, and insinuate that a charge is required to be paid).

  4. This is some tired shit. Hobos downtown have been doing this kind of “performance art” for time immemorial. And for no extra charge, you can watch them try and shoplift a bottle of Aqua Velva from the pharmacy. Let’s see Tilda Swinton do that!

  5. Tilda Swinton Sleeping Box MOMA The Maybe
    Commented on this photo:

    “The Maybe,” for people who like to stare at sleeping homeless people without having to give them change or smell them.

  6. Tilda Swinton Sleeping Box MOMA The Maybe
    Commented on this photo:

    He wants to make the cunnilingus face, I just know it.

  7. Tilda Swinton Sleeping Box MOMA The Maybe
    Commented on this photo:

    Yeah, Maybe its a guy, maybe its a girl. Can’t really tell the differance here.

  8. Inner Retard

    Should be a warning. This performance has been rated “Crap” by the MPAA and may cause vomiting, anxiety and an unnatural attraction toward your uncle’s shotgun. Take with alcohol.

  9. Tilda Swinton Sleeping Box MOMA The Maybe
    Commented on this photo:

    Tilda Swinton at her exhibit “The Maybe I Don’t Know What The Fuck Art Is I Just Have A Fetish For Strangers Staring At Me While I Sleep.”

  10. Tilda Swinton Sleeping Box MOMA The Maybe
    Commented on this photo:

    “It’s an introspective look into the innocence of the sleeping form, displaying the purest simplicity of our ever futile attempts to recapture the womb…I call it ‘the fartbox’ “

  11. Deacon Jones

    the museum spokesperson continued-

    “The display box has an ingenious bit of engineering built into it. There is a small, clear poly flex tube that runs directly from the Ms Swinton’s anal cavity to the interior air space. This way, Ms. Swinton can smell her own farts continuously in a controlled environment. If the methane levels get dangerously low, she plans to crap her pants. The turds will be dipped in gold and on display next week.”

    • why not fit an attachment to the OUTSIDE of the glass box, so patrons can deposit their own farts into the box, and then wager on how long Ms. Swinton can tolerate the odors before extricating herself from the box o’farts?

  12. Cock Dr

    “Gay Cowboys Eating Pudding” will be taking over the exhibition space after Tilda gets sufficient rest and admiration.

  13. Put a pillow over her face so she doesn’t wake up. I’d pay to see that.

  14. Tilda Swinton Sleeping Box MOMA The Maybe
    Commented on this photo:

    Gonna give you something so you know what’s on my mind
    A gift real special, so take off the top
    Take a look inside — it’s my Chick in a box.

  15. Tilda Swinton Sleeping Box MOMA The Maybe
    Commented on this photo:

    The black dude is like “this bitch”. You know that is just running through his mind right there.

  16. Tilda Swinton Sleeping Box MOMA The Maybe
    Commented on this photo:

    Your move, LaBeouf.

  17. I love how they call it a ‘performance’. Most people, if not ALL, do this type of ‘performance’ every damn day of their lives for roughly 8 hours. BFD The ego of this woman to think that ANYONE would want to watch her sleep is just beyond the pale. What an a$$. She and Gwyneth Paltrow must be friends.

  18. bb

    I already saw this on an episode of dharma and greg

  19. You know what’d make this “art”? If they turned off the air and she suffocated. Now THAT is “art”: “Suffocating, pretentious asshat in a box”. They could run a series, Yoko Ono, Gwyneth Paltrow, John Mayer, Bieber, there’s an almost endless list out there.

    • That would be funny as hell.
      Once she got in the box and they locked it, they put the display sign in front of her titled “Suffocation” and 50 art snobs in all black just watch with arms crossed, sipping red wine as she silently screams and pounds the inside of the box.

  20. If anybody would like to watch me create art at my desk this afternoon, stop on by.

  21. I’d do this even better. People could come by and watch me and my cat take a nap. Or the cat might be napping while I’m reading a Terry Pratchett book and eating Cheez-its. Or maybe the cat and I are both asleep while “Captain America” is running on my laptop for the 8 billionth time.

    What does it all mean? Uh…paradigm? Synergism? I don’t know, I’m not good at sounding pretentious.

  22. Tilda Swinton Sleeping Box MOMA The Maybe
    Commented on this photo:

    Any change they re-titled it “The Suffocated” later in the day?

  23. logan

    Lindsay Lohan would even mess this acting gig up. She doesn’t have the skill to lay still for any length of time. Dina now she would kill at this. Dead drunk she would be.

  24. Slim

    What is the art? What does it mean? Sleeping Androgynous Beauty? To understand this display takes some lateral thinking that’s way out in left field.

  25. Tilda Swinton Sleeping Box MOMA The Maybe
    Frank Burns
    Commented on this photo:

    “Hmm, not quite what I’m looking for . . . do you have a catatonic Asian in a glass pyramid?”

  26. It’s just “MoMA,” not “the MoMA.” When you say it that way, you sound like one of those tourists we New Yorkers like to make fun behind your backs.

    Also, the ‘o’ should be lowercase. And really, “at MoMA” rather than “in MoMA.”

    This has been another segment of TomFrank Gets Nitpicky When You Touch on Things Dear to Him.

    • I like you Tom, but seriously, you come across as the atypical NYC prick that people hate with that rant. Those tourists you guys make fun of keep your city running with their spending and their money that is invested in Wall St. You New Yorkers would be wise to remember that fact.

  27. You know what would be art imo. Two people having down and dirty sex in that box. Right in public. Anybody got the balls to do it?

  28. I hope that box is sound proof. You know people fart in their sleep.

  29. Tilda Swinton Sleeping Box MOMA The Maybe
    Commented on this photo:

    Next week at MOMA’s glass box display, Jude Law will take a shit and play Angry Birds.for six hours.

  30. Tilda Swinton Sleeping Box MOMA The Maybe
    Commented on this photo:

    “This is stupid! Lets stare at something with boobs!”

  31. In Philly they have an interactive museum for kids called the ‘please touch museum’. Maybe MOMA can copy that, get rid of the glass box, and make this the ‘please touch’ exhibit for perverts?

  32. How do we know she’s sleeping? Maybe she’s just acting like she’s sleeping.
    I feel used.

  33. Tilda Swinton Sleeping Box MOMA The Maybe
    Commented on this photo:

    Ahem … Everyone, its The Emperor’s Clothing mixed with a startling amount of Narcisism …. But if we call it “art” she is “brave”. Seriously have we lost all capacity for logic? She is one of my favorite actresses but just …. act please!

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