Shia LaBeouf Is Hitchhiking Across Colorado For Art
Shia LaBeouf, of Transformers and Even Stevens fame, has for the past few years been working hard at making a name for himself outside of Hollywood. Going so far as to claim he “IS NOT FAMOUS ANYMORE,” the actor has embarked on a number of widely publicized creative endeavors in hopes of reshaping his image into that of an artist. For his last project, #ELEVATE, LaBeouf set up camp in an elevator for 24 hours, live-streaming his conversations with those who decided to stop in. Today he has unveiled his latest undertaking, “#TAKEMEANYWHERE,” in which he hitchhikes around Colorado by soliciting rides via Twitter.
— Shia LaBeouf (@thecampaignbook) May 23, 2016
Projects like these may be conceptually interesting–or at least fun and “quirky”–however, they’re surprisingly reminiscent of artwork that has been done before. It has already been pointed out that his performance, “#IAMSORRY,” itself positioned as an apology for plagiarism, bears serious resemblance to Marina Abramovic’s “The Artist is Present” and “Rhythm 0.” “#ELEVATE,” too, seems oddly redolent (in both title and conceit) of filmmaker Marc Isaac’s 2001, “LIFT:” Isaacs also posted up in an elevator, getting to know an apartment complex’s residents and producing a (beautifully shot) film in the process. Now, LaBeouf’s “#TAKEMEANYWHERE,” similarly appears derivative of Pippa Bacca’s “Brides on Tour.” For this work, Bacca attempted to hitchhike from Italy to the Middle East in an attempt to send a message of peace, but was killed by one of her drivers after only three weeks. LaBeouf’s Twitter road trip somehow seems insincere in comparison.
Call it plagiarism, parallel thinking, flattery, or imitation: LaBeouf’s art certainly borrows details from others, but in doing so, does it also borrow legitimacy, or perhaps steal it? By restaging works like “Brides on Tour,” albeit with some alterations, LaBeouf obscures the original significance of the piece. Perhaps instead of reinterpreting works with some alterations, LaBoeuf would be much better off delving into entirely original projects.
Images via Twitter, Reddit
Stay tuned to Milk for more Shia, because he’ll probably do another wild thing soon.