"HE WILL NOT DIVIDE US," Shia LaBeouf's political art installation erected on Inauguration Day in protest of President Donald Trump, seems to have, well, divided something: LaBeouf and New York's Museum of the Moving Image. The museum, which played host to the art piece for a whole three weeks, released a statement Friday announcing that the installation has been taken down due to safety concerns.
"The installation created a serious and ongoing public safety hazard for the Museum, its visitors, staff, local residents, and businesses," the statement reads. "The installation had become a flashpoint for violence and was disrupted from its original intent."
The art installation, which consisted of a webcam mounted to one of the museum's exterior walls, was initially planned to last the full four years of Trump's presidency. The public could participate in the project, which was open 24/7, by standing in front of the webcam and saying "he will not divide us" for as long as they'd like. It was also set to be (live-streamed)www.hewillnotdivide.us for its full duration. The live-stream currently features a black screen with the message, "THE MUSEUM HAS ABANDONED US."
The peaceful protest the installation was founded on, however, didn't last long. Days after it launched, LaBeouf was arrested in front of the project after an altercation with a man—of course, the whole thing was broadcast to the world via the live-stream. The Museum of the Moving Image cited the arrest as a reason why the installation was ultimately shut down.
"While the installation began constructively, it deteriorated markedly after one of the artists was arrested on the site of the installation and ultimately necessitated this action," their statement reads. "Over the course of the installation, there have been dozens of threats of violence and numerous arrests, such that police felt compelled to be stationed outside the installation 24 hours a day, seven days a week."
The museum also noted that they are proud to have launched the art piece and that it generated important conversations among people with diverse backgrounds worldwide.
This may not be the last of "HE WILL NOT DIVIDE US," though. The description of the project has been updated to include the statement, "On February 10, 2017, the Museum of the Moving Image abandoned the project. The artists, however, have not."
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