Thursday, March 11, 2010

They Maybe (1995)

From The New York Times, Sunday, September 10, 1995:

"At the Serpentine Gallery in London, performance art is provided by the actress Tilda Swinton. She sleeps eight hours a day in an exhibition called The Maybe."

“For seven consecutive days, eight hours a day, she lay motionless, eyes closed, in a raised, glass casket - a contemporary Sleeping Beauty in jeans and deck shoes, subject to intense scrutiny and speculation. Was she asleep? How die she pee? Was this an act of massive egomania or acute self-effacement? And was she a natural redhead? One art critic from a national newspaper became strangely preoccupied with a small blemish under her left ear. A poet came and read to her every day. There was much punning about actresses resting between roles. Tank Girl, and art being a yawn - as well as the perpetual chestnut of whether this piece constituted art at all.”

“She displayed herself sleeping in a glass vitrine. Her performance created a living wax figure, letting the audience explore their own fascination with the visuality of celebrity, while reminding them that they could, in fact, not possess this image."

"Over 21,000 people, including several national news crews, turned up in a single week.”

The Maybe, conceived and performed by Tilda Swinton in an installation by Cornelia Parker, at the Serpentine Gallery, London, 4 - 10 September 1995.

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