Discussion Topic: Sleeping as Art

Film clip from Andy Warhol’s Sleep (1963)

Is Sleeping an art form? A rash of current performances suggests sleep is an artistic performance worthy of exploration. Last week, the actress Tilda Swinton took naps in a glass box at MoMA. As part of Montreal’s winter Arts Festival Art Sou Terrain, the artist Sergio Clavijo created an installation of sleeping figures in a public space to draw attention to the homeless and to society’s notions of memory. Slumber was the subject of an early film by Andy Warhol. In Warhol’s Sleep of 1963, the film features nearly six hours of John Giorno sleeping. Watch CNN’s coverage of Tilda Swinton’s performance, look at a blog on Clavijo’s Sleepers installation, and watch a preview for Warhol’s Sleep (all links are below). What do you think of “Sleep” as a subject of art?

CNN on Tilda Swinton sleeping at MoMA

Article on Sergio Clavijo’s The Sleepers

Preview of Andy Warhol’s Sleep (1963)

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2 Responses to Discussion Topic: Sleeping as Art

  1. Shantel says:

    I do believe that sleeping is an artistic performance worthy of exploration. I’ve always felt that watching someone sleep is something more than just that in itself. Just being able to watch an individual sleep and making your own assumptions on what they are dreaming about. What their imagination has created; what they’re envisioning. Just being able to see that individuals body language and reaction towards their own dreams, to me is intriguing. I personally wouldn’t be able to fall asleep and be a showcase for this form of art or able to watch someone sleep for 6 hrs, but I still do believe 2 mins of observation is enough to analyze someone sleeping.

  2. sreyes says:

    I believe the person viewing the photo or film of a sleeping animal or human would consider it art. But I believe that for sleeping to be considered an art form it has to serve a purpose. For instance, Tilda Swinton sleeping in a clear box shouldn’t be an art form. She is a famous actress that just sleeps in the box at whatever hours she pleases and that is that. And Andy Warhol’s 6 hours of watching him sleep, what ridiculous thing is that? But artist Sergio Clavijo’s created The Sleepers in Canada show cased homelessness in Montreal. This is what I call art. It shows something that although we see everyday gives a purposeful meaning. So sleeping humans as an art form seems just stupid and possibly “over-rated” for no apparent reason. I will admit that sleeping cat videos and dozing off dog photos are adorable but this is a different thing then humans sleeping for 6 hours on video. Over-all maybe sleeping isn’t art or else we would all be considered artist.

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