The London-born actress, fashion muse and Academy Award winner Tilda Swinton has been entertaining audiences in Florence, Italy, with Olivier Saillard in a slightly unusual show where she takes the coats and other articles of clothing from the people in the audience and then they become a part of the show itself, as she effectively involves the coats not merely as props but as her co-stars in the hour-long performance. Strange as that may seem in terms of an improvised routine, she went further in the show that was entitled Cloakroom, by talking to the coats as though they were human beings and also (occasionally) licking them.

Her performance has been classified as "performance Art" and formed part of the Pitti Uomo menswear show that was held last week. Cloakroom claimed to be a comment on the perceived antiquated custom of hospitality. As such, Swinton acted as a form of host who welcomed her guests, who were basically the audience before her, to leave their coats and related pieces of clothing with her. In that respect it was much in keeping with how people would deposit their coats and scarves when checking them in before entering a fine restaurant or similar building. Once deposited and accepted by Swinton, the performance began and Swinton's imagination came into play as she called on her human emotions to entertain the assembled crowd in whatever manner she saw fit.

After her impulsive behaviour had been satisfied by the item of clothing, she then folded the garment and placed it on a table, granting Saillard the opportunity to pick the item up and hang it on the racks behind her.

The exploration of her impulses as generated by the clothing she selected involved Swinton not only in touching them, but she also proceeded to entertain the other human senses by smelling them, blowing on them, tasting them, holding a conversation with them and perhaps even wearing them.

As she attempted to find additional ways to interact with her slightly unusual co-stars, she sometimes included music to accompany and choreograph her movements, but each item initiated a different response from her.

The Pitti Uomo show itself was a trade show where merchants purchase collections that have been hung on racks or put in small booths, with the intention of hanging them in their own stores for the general consumer market.

As such, Swinton and Saillard's slightly unusual performance was perhaps in keeping with the main business of the day, and supplementing it with a slight diversion to lighten the mood.

Of course "art" can often be deemed to be slightly unusual in its composition, allowing the observer to make of it what they will. There was uproar when the so-called sculpture by Carl Andre called Equivalent VIII was purchased by the Tate Gallery, which viewers regarded as simply 120 cream-coloured, American firebricks that had been laid out on the floor. Similarly, Tracey Emin exhibited My Bed at the Tate in 1999 which was shortlisted for the Turner Prize, yet gained a certain notoriety because it was basically her own bed and other objects from her bedroom in a rather miserable and shoddy state.

The Edinburgh Fringe is another example of art being pushed to its boundaries, with its range of shows and entertainment, not all of which some would say was really what they would class as such.

Maybe Swinton's performance is just another attempt by her to push the boundaries and explore the senses, so should indeed be viewed as a form of 'art' after all, as isn't that what art is meant to do in essence anyway?