Shia LaBeouf reveals why he ditched Hollywood for performance art as #TOUCHMYSOUL kicks off in Liverpool

Members of the public can ring 0151 808 0771 from 11am today to 'connect' with LaBeouf

Jess Denham
Thursday 10 December 2015 10:59
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Shia LaBeouf has built a reputation for launching baffling performance art projects that involve the public
Shia LaBeouf has built a reputation for launching baffling performance art projects that involve the public

He’s given fans the chance to watch him watching himself in all his movies, sat with a bag over his head in an art gallery as unknown visitors took it in turns to join him (he claimed he was raped), attended a film premiere with another bag over his head reading ‘I am not famous anymore’ and run 144 laps of Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum in fetching purple spandex.

He’s Disney child star turned actor turned performance artist Shia LaBeouf, and he’s finally revealed why he started pursuing such bizarre but intriguing new means of self-expression.

“Why does a goat jump? There’s an animalistic urge to express love that I can’t express in film,” he told the Guardian. “I felt limited after coming out of Transformers. Or all the stuff I’d done with Steven Spielberg (most notably Indiana Jones), not to pooh-pooh those films, but you have no creative control.”

Encouraged by his Nymphomaniac director Lars von Trier to explore other means of self-expression after growing disenchanted with his film career, LaBeouf used method acting as inspiration.

“The guys I always looked up to - Daniel Day-Lewis, Sean Penn - I loved the myths I heard about how their performances were created,” he said. “I thought, ‘Oh man, it would be great if you could see the process, you’d enjoy the performance a bit more’. That’s why I turned to performance art, because it’s just about the process. It’s all aired out.”

LaBeouf’s next project has taken him to Liverpool this week where he will launch #TOUCHMYSOUL in the Fact Gallery at 11am today, alongside his artistic collaborators Nastja Sade Ronkko and Luke Turner. It goes something like this: random members of the public ring the trio (the number is 0151 808 0771) and their four-way conversations are livestreamed for everyone to watch. LaBeouf has recently been tweeting the title every day at 5pm.

“It’s a big part of why we do this,” he said of all the memes that flood the internet during every new performance. “Other people get to be creative with us.”

‘Creative’ is certainly one word for it. Steven Spielberg, we’re blaming you.

Read the full interview on the Guardian here.

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