After three weeks that were as tumultuous as Donald Trump’s presidency has been thus far, Shia LeBeouf’s anti-Trump art installation in New York is no more.
The Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, which agreed to house the interactive and streaming installation “He Will Not Divide Us” for the next four years or “duration of the presidency,” on Friday announced it was shuttering the piece.
“The installation created a serious and ongoing public safety hazard for the Museum, its visitors, staff, local residents, and businesses,” a statement said. “The installation had become a flashpoint for violence and was disrupted from its original intent.”
“He Will Not Divide Us” was unveiled on Inauguration Day, just before Trump was sworn in as president. Participants were encouraged to say, “He will not divide us” into a camera mounted outside the museum that was streaming the event 24/7.
“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,” the statement continued. As a result, the museum said, police had been stationed outside 24/7.
LaBeouf was arrested Jan. 26 after an alleged altercation with a Nazi, according to the "He Will Not Divide Us" Twitter account. In a video posted on the social media site that police said was unrelated to his arrest, LaBeouf is seen posing with an attendee.
The unidentified man said, “Hitler did nothing wrong.” LaBeouf, who is Jewish, shoved the man and walked away. The incident reportedly escalated into a “shouting match,” and LaBeouf scratched and pushed a man to the ground.
“Ending our engagement with the installation is the most prudent path forward to restore public safety to the Museum, its visitors, staff, and the community,” the statement concluded.
The live stream section on the “He Will Not Divide Us” website is now showing a blackened screen of the installation’s live stream with “The museum has abandoned us” written in white block letters. “The artists, however, have not,” was its caption.
When Metro reached out to the Museum of the Moving Image for comment on the artists' claims of abandonment, we were referred to the museum's original statement it released on the closure of "He Will Not Divide Us."