Shia LaBeaouf speech is actually performance art

Hey, Internet — Shia LaBeouf’s Loony Motivational Speech Is Actually Pretty Serious Art [Videos]

Shia LaBeouf long ago proved to the world that he shares the title of “Hollywood’s Weirdest Celeb” with James Franco. But this video probably cements it.

However, it isn’t a sign that LaBeouf has finally lost his marbles, or that he’s taken steroids, or is desperate for attention again. Alas, his two-minute rant in front of a green screen is actually a legit art project, Yahoo Tech reports.

The clip has been circulating the Internet for a few days. One particular segment has grabbed the world’s attention in particular, in which Shia delivers a speech at the top of his voice, repeating the phrase “DO IT!” to encourage (or bully, take your pick) the audience into following their dreams.

But this speech is actually only part of a larger art project created by Fine Arts students at Central Saint Martins in collaboration with LaBeouf. The whole thing is actually over a half hour, and LaBeouf doesn’t yell the whole time.

The whole piece consists of 36 mini-videos, and they cover the emotional spectrum. Shia performed them all in one day, the A.V. Club added, and the content was provided by the students themselves. The instructions? “Submit a piece of text lasting up to 30 seconds or no more than 100 words. This can be as poetic, abstract or literal as you like — with the emphasis on expressing the feeling and tone of the work being introduced.”

Well, there sure are tons of feelings in the entire piece. It begins with Shia reciting a simple and poetic little speech about beauty, then segues into him wearing a motorcycle helmet telling a bizarre story. At another point in the video, he’s reading from a book about life and death, in yet another Shia makes a speech in a British accent. Toward the end, he turns to expose his awesome rattail and “om” for the camera.

Obviously, the most attention-grabbing spot is the one in which LaBeouf nearly pops a vein in his forehead, squatting and screaming like a maniac in probably the world’s most intense speech.

“Just DO IT! Don’t let your dreams be dreams. Yesterday, you said tomorrow. So just do it! … What are you waiting for?! DO IT! JUST DO IT! YES, YOU CAN! JUST DO IT! If you’re tired of starting over, STOP GIVING UP!”

But what this project proves above all is not that Shia is nuts, but that he’s probably one of the more artistic and imaginative actors out there, willing to express himself in many varied and bizarre ways, and then watch the world respond to him most often with confusion and amusement.

To dismiss LaBeouf as bonkers or a joke is to simplify what he’s trying to do — make us think — which is the purpose of art. The piece is actually a collaboration with artists Luke Turner and Nastja Säde Rönkkö, who got LaBeouf to wear a paper bag at a movie premiere that had the words “I am not famous anymore” written across it. The world just assumed he’d lost his mind or had too much to drink.

Shia’s latest piece of performance art also allows the Internet community to participate. The performance was filmed in front of a green screen, which means anyone can copy and paste Shia LaBeouf into any movie, TV show, or everyday situation he wants. The Internet, of course, has eagerly hopped on this opportunity.

Not to be outdone in the weirdness category, James Franco uploaded his own video, in which he puts a silly spin on Shia’s art — in his underpants. It’s about poo and potty-training your child, Fast Company reported. Not artistic at all.

Now, it’s just as intense as Shia’s original version of the skit, so it may not be a good idea to actually use the video on your own kids. Long-lasting trauma could result. Perhaps, just giggle at the poo jokes instead.

[Photo Courtesy YouTube Screengrab]

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