Shia LaBeouf, the world’s most questionable actor cum performance artist (my apologies, James Franco), just up and moved his 4-year, 24-hour anti-Trump livestream to Liverpool. LaBeouf and his collaborators, Nastja Säde Rönkkö, and Luke Turner, said in a statement that “Events have shown that America is simply not safe enough for this artwork to exist.” Unfortunately they’re right: since the piece was first conceived in late January, it has attracted the ire of the so-called alt-right (this group includes neo-Nazis and white supremacists), not to mention LaBeouf’s arrest following a scuffle at the piece’s original New York location.
Initially located at New York’s Museum of Moving Image, the project livestreamed a white wall baring the words “He Will Not Divide Us.” Viewers were invited to participate by reading the phrase into the camera. Early participants included Jaden Smith.
Museum of the Moving Image, New York pic.twitter.com/uhaqLufjo2
— Shia LaBeouf (@thecampaignbook) January 20, 2017
Following the incident resulting in LaBeouf’s arrest for misdemeanor assault, the piece was moved to Albuquerque, where it was met with disgruntled neo-Nazis. The artists turned the piece into a flag and flew it in an unknown location… until alt-right 4chan users began plotting to set the field it was in on fire. Now the piece is safely located at FACT (The Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) in Liverpool.
The narrative surrounding Shia LaBeouf’s art piece is chilling. Sure, by using the pronoun “Him” it inherently becomes an anti-Trump demonstration, but its message is pretty utopian and innocuous, especially when compared to signs at other anti-Trump demonstrations.
But what’s most surprising is the fact that Donald Trump is yet to get in a formal Twitter beef with LaBeouf. Don’t worry, there’s still time.