#AllMyMovies brings in new era of performance art
Performance art isn’t an easy medium to pull off well. When done well, it can be something beautiful and striking; something that makes us think deeper and more introspectively about who we are as a people.
Marina Abramovic, who is most famous for her documentary “The Artist is Present,” set up an installation where strangers sat across from her at a table and simply stared into her eyes. People laughed, people cried, people felt deep emotions simply by connecting with the artist on a silent, intimate level.
This week, we experienced firsthand, through the power of live streaming and modern technology, all of these emotions through performance art once again. We had the opportunity of watching our favorite child-star-gone-artist Shia LaBeouf with his own interpretation of performance art. A project more obscure than James Franco could ever hope to achieve, LaBeouf offered us a view of himself viewing himself.
The event, titled #AllMyMovies, invited the public to watch all of LaBeouf’s movies in reverse chronological order in a theatre. The rest of us who could only access the event via Internet were treated to a three-day simulcast of the actor’s face. Following in the footsteps of Abramovic, watchers of the simulcast shared laughter, tears and deep emotion with LaBeouf.
A line of over fifty people outside the theatre waited anxiously to join in on the cathartic screening, but most of the viewers inside the theatre wouldn’t budge.
Olivia Marsh, a 22-year-old New York University graduate, stood in line for more than six hours with her boyfriend, only to find herself in the same place as when she started waiting.
“Shia’s people won’t let them kick anyone out,” she told the New York Times. “They’re letting them leave on their own accord, but no one will.”
LaBeouf’s reactions to his own movies went viral during this three-day event. During “Holes,” he was seen cheesing pretty hard through the entire movie, while during the “Transformers” movies, he often hid his face in his hands, expressed embarrassment or even, during the “Revenge of the Fallen,” exited the theatre and refused to watch.
Between movies, LaBeouf allowed himself a five-minute break where he would dash to the bathroom or grab food. In the beginning, he ate mostly popcorn and sipped coffee, but after a while, it turned to mostly pizza. His facial expressions were all over social media, and many offices with televisions would turn the big screens into a window to LaBeouf’s bizarre exhibit.
Through this performance art stunt, LaBeouf has proven once again that fame isn’t always seamless. Whether this is spurred on by pent-up childhood grief or simply a publicity stunt, LaBeouf has transformed his own life into an art exhibit, and the Internet is very grateful.