Hollywood A-lister-turned-performance-artist Shia LaBeouf has just revealed his latest art project, just in time to coincide with President Trump’s shudder inducing inauguration.
The piece is called #hewillnotdivideus, comprising of a wall-mounted camera outside of the Museum of the Moving Image, New York inviting passer-bys to chant the mantra ‘he will not divide us’. The camera feed will be livestreamed for the next four years.
The subject of this phrase, as I’m sure you can guess, is the new saviour of America/ buffoon of the century President Donald J Trump.
But this isn’t the first art project from Shia to hit headlines. Alongside artists Nastja Säde Rönkkö and Luke Turner, the trio share their performance art through LABEOUF, RÖNKKÖ & TURNER.
Here’s your quick guide to Shia and co.’s preceding weird and wonderful projects.
I AM NOT FAMOUS ANYMORE
Shia walked out in front of the paparazzi firing squad in early 2014 to thriving media attention. One thing that may have contributed to this is his headwear: a brown paper bag with eyeholes, claiming ‘I AM NOT FAMOUS ANYMORE’. Intentionally ironic more so as he was attending the Berlin première of his film Nymphomaniac at the time.
Listen to the paps scream at him to turn around for a better angle. Hear the producer tell the cameraman to “take a close shot.” Does it really matter if Shia thinks he’s famous or not?
I don’t really know how to describe this one. The three artists stand in a lift talking to strangers for a day.
Back in February 2016 Labeouf, Ronkko and Turner stood in a stationary lift in Oxford for 24 hours, only exiting briefly to address the Oxford Union. What’s the point of all this? According to the official event info:
“Visitors are invited to address the artists and the Internet, so that their collective voices may form an extended, expansive and egalitarian Oxford Union address.”
Whilst not having the most well-received film career, Shia has still built up his own back-catalogue of blockbusters to sit through. In late 2015 Shia livestreamed his reactions as he watched #allhismovies over 3 days in LA. Highlights include creasing up to The Even Stevens Movie, silently enjoying Surf’s Up, sleeping through Transformers, and tearing up to A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints.
I don’t know what the deep meaning is behind this. Youtuber Giancarlo Dittamo thinks it’s about humanising celebrities. Late-night host James Corden just thinks it’s a funny idea. Either way, it looks like Shia had a good time.
Shia et al let people play a game of human geocaching in late 2016, when he asked the internet to #takemeanywhere. Cue vlogs from enthusiasts searching far and wide to kidnap the artists and show them all the sites of north America.
He said in an interview with Jimmy Kimmel that he ended up having a cadre of 20 people with him, right up until he passed the border into Canada and half didn’t have their passports.
They started in Colorado and ended up in Alaska a month later. And they didn’t get kidnapped Misery-style! Sounds to me like a successful project.
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