ByKit Simpson Browne, writer at
Writer-at-large. Bad jokes aplenty. Can be gently prodded on Twitter at @kitsb1
Kit Simpson Browne

Now, for a man who has spent much of his adult life being actively mocked for pretty much everything that he's done, is actually doing pretty well for himself. Sure, he may have had some unusual run-ins with the law, and there was that whole "bag on the head" thing that didn't really play out the way he'd presumably hoped it would, but his shift into indie filmmaking and performance art has, in many ways, been a striking success. His recent role in was widely praised, and his latest art installations have been receiving more public attention (both positive and negative) than the vast majority of "mainstream" artists.

Which, perhaps, makes it all the more intriguing, and upsetting, that:

Shia LaBeouf's 'He Will Not Divide Us' Project Was Just Shut Down By Gunfire

The project, latterly moved to Albuquerque after losing its space in New York City, is a fairly straightforward response to 's election as president, and the political division that was arguably both cause and effect. Essentially, the project involved a camera being positioned on a wall, beside the words "HE WILL NOT DIVIDE US," that is hooked up to a live online video feed. Anyone who so chooses can go to the site and repeat the words into the camera as part of — in the words of its creators LaBeaouf, Nastja Säde Rönkkö and Luke Turner "a participatory performance artwork resisting the normalization of division."

Which, of course, led to both substantial controversy and a major pushback from right-wing groups who apparently felt that "resisting the normalization of division" through peaceful performance art was an affront to some sort of thing that they believed in. That, in turn, played a part (though the details of the situation remains murky) in the original site of the piece — New York's Museum of the Moving Image — abandoning the project.

Not long after the project moved to Albuquerque's El Rey theater, however, gun shots were heard nearby, and the decision was apparently made to shut the piece down, with the official statement from LaBeouf and co. making it clear that safety was a concern:

Which, quite frankly, sucks. After all, a project intended to reject division was just (presumably) shut down because of fears that the gunshots heard could possibly have signaled some sort of partisan attack on its site. Which, whether a correct assumption or not, is a pretty clear example of political division, and the fear that it can engender.

"He will not divide us any more" would, perhaps, be a more achievable goal.

What do you think, though? Are you rooting for the project to get going again? Let us know below!

(Sources: Cosmopolitan)


Latest from our Creators