- 10 Feb 17
The Museum of the Moving Image today shut down Shia LaBeouf’s “He Will Not Divide Us” art installation. A statement the New York museum said the artwork became a “flashpoint for violence” and that it was “disrupted from its original intend.”
LaBeouf’s installation was set up against the election of President Donald Trump. It gave the public the chance to deliver the words “He will not divide us” into a camera, placed on an outside wall of the museum, repeating the phrase as many times and for as long as they wanted.
The museum now announced that the project which “began constructively” was closed because it “created a serious and ongoing public safety hazard for the Museum, its visitors, staff, local residents, and businesses.”
The statement also said that “there have been dozens of threats of violence and numerous arrests”, which caused the police to be stationed at the installation 24 hours, seven days a week.
When LaBeouf and his two partners Nastja Säde Rönkkö and Luke Turner launched the project on January 20, the day of Trump’s inauguration, the trio announced through a live stream outside of the museum, that the installation would keep going continually over the four years of Trump’s presidency.
The Museum of the Moving Image meanwhile explained they were proud to have launched a project that “generated an important conversation allowing interaction among people from many backgrounds and with different viewpoints” but nevertheless decided to shut it down, as it is the “most prudent path forward to restore public safety to the Museum, its visitors, staff, and the community.”
Shia LaBeouf, who was arrested after allegedly pushing a man at the protest side on the day the project opened, responded to the museum’s decision by sharing a picture which says “The museum has abandoned us” on Twitter.
— Shia LaBeouf (@thecampaignbook) 10. Februar 2017