Shia LaBeouf's anti-Trump project discontinued after UK relocation
After attracting backlash and violence in the United States, actor and artist Shia LaBeouf recently turned to the UK to find an audience for his anti-Trump performance art protest.
The project, ‘He Will Not Divide Us,’ had been relocated to Liverpool’s Foundation for Art and Creative Technology gallery from the Museum of the Moving Image in New York. However, safety and trespassing concerns has seen the Liverpool gallery discontinue the project on 23rd March.
Originally installed on a side wall of the New York museum in January, the art piece featured LaBeouf and participants from the public declaring the statement “he will not divide us” into a camera. The camera fed to an online live video stream. An act of defiance against newly elected US President Donald Trump, the live stream had been set to run uninterrupted for four years or the duration of the presidency.
The Liverpool installation saw the live stream display a white flag printed with the protest phrase. The piece was live for only a single day before termination after police advice.
The art collective LaBeouf, Ronkko & Turner sighted safety issues as motivation for the project’s move to the UK. The group had been forced to relocate their performance three times within the United States, with each installation ending after disruption or sabotage. The New York installation concluded with LaBeouf punching a far-right extremist.
‘He Will Not Divide Us’ is not the first art project the group have conducted at FACT. In December 2015, LaBeouf and the group answered telephone calls from the public as part of a piece entitled #TOUCHMYSOUL. The performance was broadcast live from the gallery.
Updates regarding the ‘He Will Not Divide Us’ performance can be found on the project’s official online site.