Monday, March 25, 2013

tilda swinton's absolute advantage


alfredo triff

fresh from MoMA is tilda swinton's installation piece the maybe. the daily news takes it from here:
Her public napping is part of a performance art piece titled "The Maybe," which she debuted in 1995 at London's Serpentine Gallery. She later repeated the work in the Museo Barraco in Rome. Swinton will return to the glass case several times to appear in the installation, but the exhibition dates remain a mystery even to MoMA employees.
"public napping"? i doubt swinton was napping --not with that aroused crowd gawking through the glass box: she pretended to. it's irrelevant. the audience is in awe, for this is more that they bargained for. to  pay $25 for a MoMA ticket and get a glimpse of tilda swinton so vulnerable & close? this is better than the movies: swinton placidly napping inside a glass box, wearing soft bluish linen outfit. at last, one can look at this unique hollywood specimen without being dissed, called a f***, or punched in the face by a wild bodyguard.

yet, the proposition of the maybe, myself napping in public, is redundant, ho-hum. even abramovic doing it these days looks narcissistic. what artistic value (measured in part by the artist's work portfolio) entitles this piece to be at MoMA, one the the world's leading museums?

absolute advantage!

performance art is a new fad amongst hollywood stars in search of a respectability factor.

the maybe happens at MoMA because this is (NOT a movie, but) a performance of a superstar about a superstar taking "a nap" in a transparent armor glass (security guards + camera system notwithstanding). is swinton a performance artist? not really. she has toyed with performance before, but this is not what she does (again, she can always perform in any venue she chooses). swinton is a famous star (and a very good one at that), which is enough to make her a performance artist.

can you NOT tell the difference?

do you know how many well-known performance artists wished they could show themselves in a fish tank at MoMA and have people enraptured? 

symbolically, swinton's the maybe kills two birds with one stone: it presents a killer voyeuristic spectacle for MoMA's scopophiliac audience --let's admit we're all scopophiliacs to some degree-- while facilitating the objectifying pleasure of audiences basking in the glowing presence of the rich-and-famous. it's all artblicity.

 take a look a these people, they can't believe their own eyes.

yeah, the maybe has absolute advantage.  

12 comments:

Steven Bollman said...

It is fascinating. What is very conspicuous to me is her apparent desire to be seen by so many strangers up close, where she could see their breath on the glass, hear their comments and murmurings. I think sleeping is completely impossible. She is a performer after all. She is surrounded by five "fourth wall(s)."

Feminista said...

What more do you want than advantage?

Anonymous said...

As a performance artist this is insulting. My problem is with the performance. So lame. But it's Swinton and thats it. The audience could care less. They are oblivious to the fact that Swinton is not a performance artist.

ToMaToMa

Yo Momma said...

A mediocre article written by a mediocre man. Then again, this is why he teaches at a community college and writes a blog no one reads.

Alfredo Triff said...

tx Steve. she is a "performer," but is she a performance artist? is it the same thing?

tx, Feminista.

tx, ToMA

tx, YoMomma
i agree with you on all points, except the last. at least you read me.

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Dissey said...

Triff: I don't see much difference between what Swinton does and other performance artists do. You mention Abramovic. I saw her performance at MoMA not long ago and it all seemed just more organized but again that is what she does for a living.

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