A work of art

by Michael Hunley. 0 Comments

Usually, when I hear about an actor using their celebrity to further a career in the art world, I generally roll my eyes and say, "People just need to stop encouraging James Franco." But when I found out that Tilda Swinton, the Oscar-winning actress and heir to the David Bowie throne, was reprising her performance art piece entitled The Maybe, which consists of her sleeping in a glass box on display in a museum for several hours, I not only gave it a resounding "Yes!" but looked for the quickest route to get up to the MoMA and watch her nap.

 

To be quite honest, Swinton generally gets a free pass from me for a lot of things — she's an amazingly versatile actress and one of the more unpredictable performers working today, going from such big-budgets franchises as "The Chronicles of Narnia" to avant-garde independent films like "I Am Love" without missing a beat.

And unlike most actors who dabble in the performance art field (yes, I'm talking about James Franco again), there's not a sense of smug self-promotion in what she's doing. Swinton has a history in bizarre, experimental work, dating back to her early films with artist Derek Jarman and her gender-bending performance in the "Orlando." It's not as if it's Jennifer Aniston putting on a performance piece as the spirit of St. Patrick because she was once in a movie about leprechauns. 

I'm sure there's some who see this as nothing more than hipster nonsense, and I can see their reasoning -- I mean, yes, she IS sleeping in a glass box in public for about six hours. But for me, it's nice to see a celebrity as adventurous, original and flat-out weird as Swinton nowadays.

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