Shia LaBeouf Launches Four-Year Performance to Protest Trump

Jaden Smith was the first participant.

Jaden Smith and a friend in HE WILL NOT DIVIDE US (2017). Screenshot from HE WILL NOT DIVIDE US
Jaden Smith and a friend in HE WILL NOT DIVIDE US (2017). Screenshot from HE WILL NOT DIVIDE US by LaBeouf, Rönkkö, & Turner .

Shia LaBeouf is staging a four-year, crowd-sourced protest against the presidency of Donald Trump. Anyone who wants to take part can join by saying the words “He will not divide us” into a camera installed next to the Museum of Moving Image in New York, which is live streaming 24 hours a day.

The piece titled HE WILL NOT DIVIDE US (2017) is open to anyone who would like to, at any time in the duration of Trump’s presidency, communicate that message to the world. The first participant was a celebrity contact of LaBeouf’s, Jaden Smith, who inaugurated the live streamed protest.

Jaden Smith was later joined by more participants HE WILL NOT DIVIDE US (2017). Screenshot from HE WILL NOT DIVIDE US

Jaden Smith was later joined by more participants in HE WILL NOT DIVIDE US (2017). Screenshot from HE WILL NOT DIVIDE US by LaBeouf, Rönkkö, & Turner

Smith was later joined by a friend who was standing with him recanting the artwork’s message repeatedly, as well as LaBeouf and his collaborators Nastja Säde Rönkkö, and Luke Turner.

Those who wish to take part can stay in front of the camera for as long as they like, and repeat the phrase. The words “he will not divide us” are meant to become a kind of mantra intended to sink into the subconscious providing solidarity and optimism.

Since Jaden kicked off the protest piece on Friday morning, more people joined him as Donald Trump was sworn in as president.

LaBeouf has gained much affection—and criticism—from the art world with such collaborative performance work as #INTRODUCTIONS, #METAMARATHON, #IAMSORRY, and #FOLLOWMYHEART.


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