This week, actor Shia LaBeouf let the world into the workings of his intricate mind once again with another introspective performance art project aptly called #AllMyMovies. As the name suggests, it it involved Shia sitting in a theater for three days and embarking on a movie marathon of all of his movies in reverse chronological order whilst members of the public popped in and out of the spectacle.
Yet, if you think that this charade was simply a ridiculous plea for attention, think again. Because through it all, Shia also proved that something strangely fascinating and somewhat meaningful could come out of one of the most meaningless and slightly insane art projects out there. And throughout his eruptions of laughter, trickles of tears, indulgent yawns and the occasional absences to get pizza for the auditorium, we almost forgot that he's a million-dollar earning celebrity. He almost convinced us that he's just a dude watching some movies.
And #AllMyMovies was by no means the first time that the actor has made us stop to think. His performance art may appear bizarre and ridiculous, but it's a dinner party topic I'd much rather discuss over his baffling involvement in Transformers: Dark of the Moon (by the looks of things, the 29-year-old's reaction to the film during #AllMyMovies was also that of Shia horror):
So, in no particular order, let's discuss three other wonderful and wacky times Shia LaBeouf proved himself to be an unlikely artist of our generation and made us think about what might constitute the meaning of art and celebrity in the first place:
1. That time he wore a paper bag over his head
In an infamous stint of artistry, Shia made the ultimate fashion statement by donning a paper bag for the premiere of Lars Von Trier's Nymphomaniac at the Berlin Film Festival in 2014.
It read "I AM NOT FAMOUS ANYMORE" and when a member of the press asked him about the reasoning behind it, he simply answered:
"I'm a bag. Ask me a bag question."
Scratch your heads all you want, but you have to admit this man has the guts to stand out and hone a rather peculiar, unique vision.
2. That time he was an art installation
In a creative attempt to draw lines between what it means to be a celebrity and an object, Shia LaBeouf set himself up in a gallery in L.A. and told the world #IAmSorry in 2014. The press release stated the following:
"Shia LaBeouf is sorry. Sincerely sorry. He will be in situ at 7354 Beverly Boulevard for the duration. Implements will be provided. Free admission."
Those brave enough to venture into Shia's artistic space of self-expression would have picked out several objects corresponding to his illustrious movie career, including a whip, Transformers toys, a pair of pliers, a bottle of Brut cologne and a bowl of folded up notes, each inscribed with Twitter comments about the actor.
Entering a room, visitors encountered Shia wearing that very same paper bag from the Berlin premiere. Testament to his commitment to the cause, he never once broke eye-contact with his spectators and kept silent when approached with any questions — even when he was reportedly raped by a female visitor.
Despite this, speaking about the five-day event later, Shia remarked on the project and the positives he gathered from it:
“I went from being a celebrity or object to a fellow human. It happened in less than a second for some."
In this experiment, he expected people to be mean but found out that they were intrinsically kind and more often than not, incredibly supportive when one-on-one with him.
3. That time he participated in a silent interview
Dazed Magazine tapped into Shia's unconventional antics and conducted an hour-long silent interview. In the room, not a single word was spoken, leaving these two mute individuals just staring deeply into each other's eyes.
You'd think such a concept would be pretentious and pretty pointless until you watched it for yourself. The conveyed idea that you can sit in a room for an hour with a complete stranger and not say or do anything apart from communicate through facial expressions is really quite eye-opening, especially in a celebrity world where everyone's opinions hang on an A-lister's every word.
So, is Shia's art genius or pointless?
Today, I stand by the fact that no matter how bizarre and self-righteous Shia's artistic shenanigans might seem to some, you can't deny that he has got a point; not only about the meaning of what art is, but also about what the modern concept of celebrity might be in the fast-paced world of Hollywood.
Above all though, let's face it, he's committed himself to highlight what constitutes the meaning of "bizarre" in the first place.
For one, I can't wait to see the gems of Shia wisdom he offers up next!