Shia LaBeouf and his artistic collaborators Nastja Säde Rönkkö and Luke Turner released a statement Saturday that announced that their planned four-year-long live stream has been relocated from New York to Albuquerque, N.M. The strongly-worded announcement disparaged the Museum of the Moving Image, where the installation was originally set up.
The project, launched on the day of President Donald Trump’s inauguration, was shut down by the museum after three weeks. The museum cited “dozens of threats of violence and numerous arrests” including LaBeouf’s own detention as its reason for preemptively shuttering the project.
“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,” the artists wrote in a statement posted online.
The installation consisted of a camera mounted on a wall outside the museum with the phrase “He will not divide us,” referring to Trump. Participants were meant to walk up to the camera and repeat the mantra for all four years of Trump’s first term as president.
“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 says.
The artists wrote that the museum is “not fit to speak of our intent as artists” and concluded by announcing, “As of February 18, 2017, we are proud to be continuing HEWILLNOTDIVIDE.US at the El Rey Theater, Albuquerque.”