Shia LaBeouf, the front man of the anti-Donald Trump “He Will Not Divide Us” street art collab, announced that the previously canceled project would be moved to New Mexico. “He Will Not Divide Us” was shut down after the Museum of Moving Image in New York City cited violence.
Allegations of violence hit the media after LaBeouf got arrested for assaulting a man at the New York exhibition site. According to People, on Saturday, LaBeouf, Luke Turner, and Nastja Säde Rönkko stated that they will continue to share the movement’s message with the world at the El Rey Theater in Albuquerque.
El Rey Theater, Albuquerque pic.twitter.com/QYgKyBgvhR
— Shia LaBeouf (@thecampaignbook) February 18, 2017
The activities are live streamed directly onto the HEWILLNOTDIVIDE.US website 24-hours a day. The installation is similar to the one in New York and will consist of a surveillance camera set on a white wall. The camera live streams the events onto the internet. The camera sits below black words that read, “He Will Not Divide Us” in capital letters. The project encourages members of the public to visit the project and chant, “He will not divide us” into the camera.
The project is called a “participatory performance artwork” by LaBeouf, Rönkkö, and Turner. The partners slammed their former venue — the Museum of the Moving Image — for canceling the project earlier this month.
— Shia LaBeouf (@thecampaignbook) February 10, 2017
Members of the public joined LeBeouf in chanting the words “He will Not Divide Us” in the Queens borough of New York. LaBeouf spent the first few days of the Trump presidency chanting and dancing with anyone who wanted to join in. The project was expected to go on for four years or for “the duration of the presidency.”
“On February 10, 2017, The Museum of the Moving Image abandoned HEWILLNOTDIVIDE.US. Their evident lack of commitment to the project is damning.”
The message of “he will not divide us” was supposed to be a message of hope and resistance against the political tension in the United States following the 2016 election. However, the unguarded live stream transformed the project into a platform for those who preached racist, anti-Semitic, and sexist sentiments.
Museum of the Moving Image, New York pic.twitter.com/uhaqLufjo2
— Shia LaBeouf (@thecampaignbook) January 20, 2017
On February 10, the Museum of the Moving Image announced that they had shut down the installation, calling it an “ongoing public safety hazard.”
Museum of the Moving Image ‘HE WILL NOT DIVIDE US’ Project Cancelation
The “He Will Not Divide Us” artists said in a joint statement on LaBeouf’s website that the Museum of Moving Image abandoned the project and has shown a lack of commitment to the artists.
“From the outset, the museum failed to address our concerns about the misleading framing of our piece as a political rally, rather than as a participatory performance artwork resisting the normalization of division.”
As the Inquisitr previously reported, days after the project launched, LaBeouf was arrested after he allegedly assaulted a 25-year-old man at the installation site. LaBeouf was charged with misdemeanor assault and a harassment violation and is due in court on April 7. The arrest and the alleged incident was captured on the live stream.
“In fact, the museum demonstrated a spectacular lack of judgement—and courtesy to us as artists—by neglecting to consult us when they staged a political rally at the site of our artwork on January 29, 2017.”
“On numerous occasions, we voiced serious concerns to the museum about hate speech occurring at the site of our project and requested that the museum act responsibly in moderating this and providing the public a means of reporting such incidents. Our requests were not even acknowledged, let alone acted upon.”
The statement also noted that there had been no incidents of physical violence at the site that they were aware of. They feel that the museum bowed to “political pressure” and ceased involvement with the project.
“We were only informed of the museum’s capitulation in an email from their attorney, Brendan O’Rourke — a lawyer who we note also represents the current president.”
The committee ended the statement with the Museum of the Moving Image is not the right channel to speak of their intent as artists.
“It is clear, therefore, that the Museum of the Moving Image is not fit to speak of our intent as artists.”
The new location is open 24-hours a day and seven days a week to anyone wishing to visit.
[Featured Image by Deepti Hajela/AP Images]