If you thought Shia LaBeouf’s behavior in Berlin was the pinnacle of how weird he can get, guess what, you were wrong. Because now, immediately on the heels of whatever that was in Berlin, The Beef is back in Los Angeles, where he is doing something he claims is performance art but which I call stunting. Beginning yesterday and running through Sunday, LaBeouf will be at the Cohen Gallery from eleven to six, available “in situ” to the public. Admission is free. There will be “implements”.
The performance/stunt is titled “#IAMSORRY” and is being staged in collaboration with performance artists Nastja Säde Rönkkö and Turner. The Beef is dressed in a tuxedo and his “I am not famous anymore” bag, and visitors are admitted to see him one at a time. He isn’t verbally responding to attendees, but he has apparently been crying. TMZ got a picture of him, sans bag, and they also took a picture of the implements. But for the implements, it bears a striking resemblance to Marina Abramovic’s famous “The Artist is Here”,which was performed at MOMA in 2010. Abramovic even cried several times throughout her performance (so did some of her visitors).
It’s tempting to just sit back and revel in the lunacy, but LaBeouf is still a plagiarist who has not offered a sincere apology for doing what he did. Instead he’s engaged in a series of increasingly bizarre stunts, from tweeting plagiarized apologies to sky-writing and now performance art. I guess we’re supposed to believe this has been some kind of meta-commentary on fame and/or celebrity culture all along, but I’m still confused as to how knowingly stealing someone else’s work fits into that.
If LaBeouf wants to go full-Franco and start doing weird art sh*t all the time, fine. But I’d still like to see one sincere apology for ripping off Daniel Clowes. Instead we get yet another bullsh*t non-apology that once again eclipses the fact that all of this started after LaBeouf got called out as a plagiarist. Sitting in a gallery with a bag on your head having staring contests is not an apology, no matter what words you put in the window. It’s a self-aggrandizing stunt that gets people debating which phase of your nervous breakdown we’re in, and not dwelling on the part where you’re a liar and a thief. This is taking the patented celebrity “I’m sorry you’re upset” non-apology to new heights.
Shia LaBeouf has officially been upgraded from asshole to full-blown twat.