Art or Soup, Soup or Art

In Jane Wagner‘s 1985 masterpiece, “Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe,” Lily Tomlin embodies characters with still relevaniStock_000001933707Smallt questions about how our society got where it is and where the hell we are headed. What is inspired and what is simply insipid?

Wagner’s script and Tomlin’s performance nail that question with Trudy, a homeless bag lady, as she ponders art is our society by holding up two found objects – a can of Campbell’s soup and an Andy Warhol Campbell Soup print. “Soup or art, art or soup?” she asks looking back and forth between the two.

I had the same dilemma when I saw a recent story today on Tida Swinton’s performance piece at MoMA – she is sleeping in a glass box in a gallery, is that art or is it soup? Soup or art? Like Trudy I’m gonna have to ponder this but I’m thinking Swinton’s performance would go well with crackers.

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