On Wednesday, March 22, Shia LaBeouf moved his anti-Trump installation HeWillNotDivide.Us to Liverpool. Safety concerns and a “lack of institutional support” have forced the artist and his collaborators, artists Luke Turner and Nastja Säde Rönkkö, to relocate the work several times.
“Events have shown that America is simply not safe enough for this artwork to exist,” LaBeouf, Rönkkö, and Turner said in a statement. The project is now being exhibited at Liverpool’s Foundation for Art and Creative Technology. Turner, who grew up in the northwest of England, said, “We are proud to be continuing the project at FACT, an arts center at the heart of the community.”
The work originally opened at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, New York, on Inauguration Day. Consisting of a camera mounted on the exterior wall of the museum, with the words “He will not divide us” in block lettering above it, the long-term installation was going to livestream footage of passersby, who were invited to repeat the phrase into the camera over the course of the next four years. After LaBeouf was arrested for quarreling with a man in front of the work, the institution shut down the project, calling it “a flashpoint for violence.”
The group then moved the work to the El Rey Theater in Albuquerque on February 18. However, after gunshots in the area were heard on the livestream, they dismantled the work. Commenting on the decision, LaBeouf said, “The safety of everybody participating in our project is paramount.”