After his anti-Trump art installation was shut down when it inadvertently became a “flashpoint of violence” between Trump supporters and opponents, it looks like the controversial art experiment is making a comeback.
In a blog post on his The Campaign Book website, LaBeouf and collaborators Nastja Säde Rönkkö and Luke Turner reveal their disappointment at New York City’s Museum of the Moving Image after the museum “abandoned HEWILLNOTDIVIDE.US. Their evident lack of commitment to the project is damning.”
In their missive, the trio writes: “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,” adding: “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.”
The blog post continues: “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.”
They also say there were unaware of any “incidents of physical violence at the site of our project,” and had not been informed of any such incidents by the museum.
“It is our understanding that the museum bowed to political pressure in ceasing their involvement with our project,” they add. “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.”
If is for that reason they believe that “that the Museum of the Moving Image is not fit to speak of our intent as artists,” and announced that “as of February 18, 2017, we are proud to be continuing HEWILLNOTDIVIDE.US at the El Rey Theater, Albuquerque.”