LaBeouf's anti-Trump art project shut down again

NEW YORK • An anti-Trump art project by actor Shia LaBeouf was shut down for a fourth time last Friday, a day after it opened in its latest location, the British city of Liverpool.

The project He Will Not Divide Us, by LaBeouf and two other artists, began during Mr Donald Trump's Jan 20 presidential inauguration as a streaming video performance installation that aimed to provide a forum for anti-Trump expression outside New York's Museum of the Moving Image.

The digital art project consisted of a microphone-equipped camera mounted on a wall, where visitors were invited to chant the words "He will not divide us". The footage was live-streamed on the project's website and intended to be broadcast for the duration of Mr Trump's four-year term.

But the museum - located in the city's Queens borough - shut the project down, saying the controversial exhibit "had become a flashpoint for violence and was disrupted from its original intent".

LaBeouf's collective moved the project to a movie theatre in Albuquerque, New Mexico, before removing it following reports of gunshots nearby. In March, it was moved to an undisclosed location, where it took the form of a flag emblazoned with the project's title - until far-right activists stole the flag. Last Wednesday, Liverpool's Foundation for Art and Creative Technology said it would display the flag after the artists said that "events have shown that America is simply not safe enough for this artwork to exist". But the exhibit's new lease of life proved to be short.

The centre removed it on the advice of police, citing "dangerous illegal trespassing".

The Twitter account @ReadyPlayerOn posted a photograph purporting to show two masked people on the institution's roof.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 27, 2017, with the headline 'LaBeouf's anti-Trump art project shut down again'. Print Edition | Subscribe