UPDATE, 9 AM: Shia LaBeouf tweeted this morning that his anti-Trump exhibit “He Will Not Divide Us” was taken down after reports of gunfire in the area.
“We have taken the stream down after shots were reported in the area,” LaBeouf wrote on Twitter Thursday morning. “The safety of everybody participating in our project is paramount.”
The exhibit, co-created with Luke Turner and Nastja Säde Rönkkö, moved to its new location at the El Rey Theater in Albuquerque, NM, after the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens shut it down for creating “an ongoing public safety hazard”, according to the museum. Just days after the move to Albuquerque, the exhibited was vandalized by red spray paint, but was cleaned up and continued to operate.
PREVIOUS, February 18, 1:44 PM: Shia LaBeouf, Luke Turner and Nastja Säde Rönkkö, creators of the anti-Donald Trump “He Will Not Divide Us” street art exhibition, have moved their project west after it was shut down by New York’s Museum of the Moving Image earlier this month.
In a joint statement posted on LaBeouf’s website, the trio called out the museum for its “lack of commitment to the project.” As of today, the live-streaming protest is taking place outside the El Rey Theater in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
“On February 10, 2017, The Museum of the Moving Image abandoned HEWILLNOTDIVIDE.US. Their evident lack of commitment to the project is damning,” the statement reads. “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 normalisation of division.”
“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,” it continued. “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.”
Launched on Inauguration Day, the live-stream project invited people to join in and chant “He will not divide us” for as long as they wished. The installation (pictured above with LaBeouf in NYC, and the Albuquerque crowd at left) was to be kept up for the duration of Trump’s presidency but taken down after the museum stated that it was “a serious and ongoing public safety hazard for its visitors, staff, local residents and businesses.”
LaBeouf himself was arrested last month after allegedly pushing a man at the site, though the creators stated that “there had been no incidents of physical violence at the site of our project that we are aware of, nor that we had been informed of at any stage by the museum.”