Shia LaBeouf is currently living out my worst nightmare: being trapped in an elevator for 24 hours. No, he is not shooting a conceptual Transformers sequel (though I would totally go see a Transformers film that took place only in an elevator. How would the Autobots even fit in there?), it’s just the latest in a string of half-baked performance art pieces that frankly I’m tired of making jokes about.
The elevator is in England and is, naturally, being livestreamed. LaBeouf is joined by his collaborators, Nastja Sade Rönkkö and Luke Turner, because a concept this intricate and complicated really takes three people to execute. It’s called #elevate in order to optimize its social media presence.
Like most elevators, this one goes up and down and people get on and off, sometimes having mundane conversations along the way. #Elevate started at 9AM this morning and will continue until 9AM tomorrow. It also acts as LaBeouf’s address to the Oxford Union debating society. No debate here; as far as performance art goes, this freaking blows.
Look, I’m all for LaBeouf exploring the notion of becoming an artist, and I really dug #allmymovies, not as an art piece necessarily but as an event that took place. Yes, you could argue that LaBeouf’s mundane performances are some brilliant meditation on celebrity, but you could also argue (and I prefer this argument) that if LaBeouf were not a celeb and instead was just a plain old performance artist, no one would be discussing his lame, meaningless, oft mundane actions. No one would be discussing them because they’re pretentious and boring.
During his elevator ride, LaBeouf asked a question I’ve been asking about his art since he started puling this crap: “How do we do this and not feel douchey about it?” The answer is you don’t.