Shia LaBeouf has moved his anti-Trump art project to Liverpool to guarantee its safety.
The actor-turned-performance artist launched the project on January 20, shortly before Donald Trump’s inauguration, describing it as “a show of resistance or insistence, opposition or optimism”.
He and collaborators Luke Turner and Nastja Säde Rönkkö installed a live-stream camera at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York, and urged members of the public to utter the words “he will not divide us” as they walked by.
However, LaBeouf was later arrested and charged over an alleged assault of a man at the installation. The Museum of the Moving Image subsequently decided to remove the art project, explaining that the site had “become a flashpoint for violence”. LaBeouf said at the time that he felt “abandoned” by the museum.
The project then relocated to Albuquerque in New Mexico, before it was taken down again amid safety concerns after gun shots were heard in the area.
The project has now found a third – and hopefully final – home at Liverpool’s Foundation for Art and Creative Technology (FACT).
LaBeouf, Rönkkö and Turner said in a statement that “events have shown that America is simply not safe enough for this artwork to exist”, adding: “We are proud to be continuing the project at FACT, an arts centre at the heart of the community.”
When it launched in New York, LaBeouf described the project on its website as follows: “Commencing at 9am on January 20, 2017, the day of the inauguration of the 45th President of the United States, the public is invited to deliver the words “HE WILL NOT DIVIDE US” into a camera mounted on a wall outside the Museum of the Moving Image, New York, repeating the phrase as many times, and for as long as they wish.”
“Open to all, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the participatory performance will be live-streamed continuously for four years, or the duration of the presidency. In this way, the mantra “HE WILL NOT DIVIDE US” acts as a show of resistance or insistence, opposition or optimism, guided by the spirit of each individual participation.”