Shia LaBeouf spends 24 hours occupying a lift in Oxford for performance art project

The actor's said his performance piece #Elevate was about 'creating forced intimacy'

Neha Shah
Saturday 20 February 2016 10:33

Shia LaBeouf has finished a 24 hour performance art project at Oxford University, which involved him occupying an elevator and inviting members of the public to enter and pose questions to him.

The actor-turned-artist was joined by artistic collaborators Nastja Sade Ronkko and Luke Turner in elevator in an English language centre in Oxford city. Members of the public were invited to enter the lift and ask the trio questions for the project titled #Elevate.

The marathon 24 hour performance was streamed live on Youtube, although some viewers were left disappointed as “you can mostly see the closed elevator doors”.

LaBeouf said the performance was an expression of the unique nature of elevators as each is “a welcoming, warm, physically warm environment” and “creates forced intimacy.”

The trio left the elevator briefly in order to address Oxford University’s debating chamber The Oxford Union, before returning to field more questions. Fans queued for up to five hours last night for their chance to take part.

Questions included, whether the moon landing was a conspiracy, US election politics and a game of Snog, Marry, Avoid based on the actor’s A-list friends.

At one point a student entered and exposed part of his genitals and asked LaBeouf to guess which part was on show. Later in his Oxford Union address, the actor referred to the moment that “one guy pulled his d*** out” as “a highlight for sure”.

One fan, a postgraduate student at Oxford University, told The Independent: “The four hour wait was definitely not worth it.” Adding that: “There was a lot of painful small talk and Shia was full of inevitable bulls***.”

Others, however, had more positive reviews, with another student telling The Independent: “I feel like he’s bringing his celebrity down to earth. He’s honestly such a nice guy, we just chatted about politics and art. He seemed genuinely interested in what everyone had to say.”

A local shop owner summed up general opinion, saying: “It seems a little bit pretentious to call this art if I’m honest, but it was totally worth queuing to see him.”

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments