Shia LaBeouf, Nastja Säde Rönkkö, and Luke Turner have moved their He Will Not Divide Us art project to Liverpool, England, where it is now hosted by FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology).
He Will Not Divide Us started as a live stream at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, New York, following Inauguration Day, but was shut down in February after numerous threats of violence and run-ins with white supremacists necessitated a constant police presence. A week later, the exhibition popped back up at a theater in Albuquerque, New Mexico, but LaBeouf shut that installation down voluntarily following reports of gun shots. The artists then moved to a secret location in Tennessee, but were quickly tracked down by pro-Trump 4chan trolls, who stole the flag reading He Will Not Divide Us.
The original live stream was supposed to last the full four years of Trump’s presidency, partly as a source of comfort and show of unity in the face of divisive cultural forces. In a statement to FACT, the artists said, “Events have shown that America is simply not safe enough for this artwork to exist.”
The artists intended to make a statement about the resilience and decency of Americans only to find that it was impossible to do safely — the phrase “he will not divide us” scans pretty ironically now that they’ve been forced to literally cut themselves off from their fellow citizens.
At FACT, He Will Not Divide Us appears alongside an exhibit called How much of this is fiction, which is described by the museum as a study of “the radical shift in the boundary between fiction and reality in a world increasingly governed by ‘post-truth’ politics.”