It looks like "He Will Not Divide Us" has caused some division.
Art collective LaBeouf, Rönkkö & Turner — which includes "Transformers" actor Shia LaBeouf and collaborators Nastja Säde Rönkkö and Luke Turner — slammed the Museum of the Moving Image for shuttering the group's anti-Donald Trump livestream earlier this month.
In a statement, the group blasted the museum for its "evident lack of commitment to the project," saying the institution "abandoned" the installation and "bowed to political pressure" by closing it down.
The interactive piece, which launched on Inauguration Day, consisted of a camera mounted outside the Astoria museum where participants were invited to repeat the phrase "he will not divide us" into the lens.
The camera was intended to stream live online for the duration of Trump's presidency, but the Museum of the Moving Image management closed it after just four weeks, saying the project had become "a flashpoint of violence." LaBeouf himself was arrested and accused of assault on Jan. 26.
Shia LaBeouf outside the Museum of the Moving Image minutes before he was arrested. (screenshot, hewillnotdivide.us)
On Saturday, LaBeouf, Rönkkö & Turner announced that it had moved the project to the El Rey Theater in Albuquerque, New Mexico — and criticized Museum of the Moving Image for the demise of the installation in Queens.
"From the outset, the museum failed to address our concerns about the misleading framing of our piece as a political rally, rather than as a participatory performance artwork resisting the normalisation of division," the group said in a statement.
"On numerous occasions, we voiced serious concerns to the museum about hate speech occurring at the site of our project, and requested that the museum act responsibly in moderating this and providing the public a means of reporting such incidents.
"Our requests were not even acknowledged, let alone acted upon."
The group also blasted the museum's management for showing "a spectacular lack of judgment" in allowing a political rally to be staged at the site on Jan. 29, when City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer held a press conference to protest participants who'd spewed hate speech into the camera.
"It is our understanding that the museum bowed to political pressure in ceasing their involvement with our project," the art group said, adding that it had not been aware of any "incidents of physical violence at the site of our project."
Local police, however, said there had been four arrests at the site during its four-week run, including three people accused of fighting and another of throwing eggs at the crowd.
LaBeouf was collared for assault on Jan. 26 after pushing and grabbing the scarf of a 25-year-old man, police said.
There were also several fake bomb threats as well as calls from people who threatened to shoot police officers stationed at the installation, according to Deputy Inspector Peter Fortune who oversees the NYPD's 114th Precinct.
Museum of the Moving Image representatives did not immediately return a request for comment Monday, but they said earlier this month that it was decided to close the installation over ongoing safety concerns.
"We take our commitment to the safety of our 200,000 annual visitors and 50,000 school children attending programs at the Museum seriously, along with the safety and security of our staff and community," a museum spokesman said at the time.