Sia – “Elastic Heart” Video (Feat. Shia LaBeouf & Maddie Ziegler)
The day after Sia was announced as the musical guest for the 1/17 episode of SNL, she has revealed a new music video starring fellow grocery bag enthusiast Shia LaBeouf and “Chandelier” star Maddie Ziegler. “Elastic Heart” is a not-particularly-memorable track from last year’s 1000 Forms Of Fear, but Sia and co-director Daniel Askill have turned it into one of the most memorable music videos I’ve seen in a long time. It’s a dance-battle cage match between LaBeouf and Ziegler, and it’s entertaining enough (and Shia enough) to go insanely viral. The Sia/Shia connection! Watch below.
In January 2014, LaBeouf stated that his Twitter account was “meta-modernist performance art”, following a sequence of appropriated Twitter apologies and skywriting messages in response to revelations he had plagiarized the work of graphic novelist Daniel Clowes. Collaborating with British artist Luke Turner and Finnish performance artist Nastja Säde Rönkkö, LaBeouf embarked upon a series of actions described by Dazed as “a multi-platform meditation on celebrity and vulnerability.”
On 9 February 2014, LaBeouf caused controversy at the Berlin Film Festival by walking out of the press conference for Nymphomaniac, quoting the famous “seagulls” statement made by French footballer Eric Cantona: “When the seagulls follow the trawler, it is because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea.” Later that night, he arrived at the red carpet wearing a brown paper bag over his head emblazoned with the words “I am not famous anymore”.
Two days later, LaBeouf, Rönkkö and Turner staged a six-day performance in a Los Angeles gallery entitled #IAMSORRY, in which LaBeouf sat wearing a tuxedo and the paper bag, silently crying in front of visitors.Attendees were allowed to enter one at a time, and invited to choose an item from a table of “implements” to take in with them, including a Transformers toy, an Indiana Jones whip, a bottle of Jack Daniel’s, a pair of pliers, a ukulele, a bowl full of hateful tweets directed at LaBeouf, and a copy of Clowes‘s book The Death-Ray.Time columnist Joel Stein, who spent three days waiting in line to see the performance, observed that LaBeouf “was immensely present,” and that “he was whatever was projected upon him,” while Kate Knibbs of The Daily Dot found the experience “genuinely disturbing”, and “felt like I was further dehumanizing someone whose humanity I’d discounted.” The Daily Beast‘s Andrew Romano opined that “there was more going on in those few seconds than in a lot of contemporary art. LaBeouf’s look-at-me Internet penance ritual had become an actual moment between actual people.” The following November, in an email interview with Dazed Digital, LaBeouf said that a woman “stripped [his] clothing and proceeded to rape [him]” during the February performance.
The Guardian and Time both suggested that #IAMSORRY bore a resemblance to Marina Abramović‘s The Artist is Present, although Abramović herself stated that “this is not the same work,” commenting that LaBeouf’s performance was “a pretty strong statement,” and that she found it very interesting “that the Hollywood world wanted to go back to performance…to be connected to [the] direct public, which, you know, being a Hollywood actor doesn’t permit you.” James Franco also voiced his support of LaBeouf, writing a New York Times article in which he called LaBeouf’s project “a worthy one”, describing it as a piece “in which a young man in a very public profession tries to reclaim his public persona.” During LaBeouf’s performance, Jerry O’Connell parodied the project by opening his own art installation, #IAMSORRYTOO, right next door to the gallery in a stunt for comedy video website Funny or Die.
On Presidents’ Day 2014, the day after LaBeouf’s gallery performance ended, LaBeouf arranged for skywriting over Los Angeles to display the message “#StartCreating”. This was in contrast to a similar skywriting message, “#StopCreating”, which LaBeouf had made the previous month in reference to a cease and desist letter Clowes‘s lawyer had sent him.
In May 2014, LaBeouf took part in an exhibition at London’s Auto Italia South East with a performance entitled Meditation for Narcissists, in which he jumped rope for an hour via a live Skype link. During the performance, LaBeouf invited the audience to take the ropes provided in the gallery and “join me on my quest to find my inner self.” Dazedreported that the performance’s attendees “all gave off an air of self-consciousness that came not from watching themselves in a digital mirror, but from being under the gaze of someone who is usually—constantly—under the gaze of the public.”
During 2014, LaBeouf gave lectures via Skype at the London College of Fashion, in which he read passages from Guy Debord‘s 1967 Situationist work The Society of the Spectacle, and at Radboud University Nijmegen, where he presented a talk on metamodernism. Turner’s 2011 Metamodernist Manifesto has also been credited to his collaborator LaBeouf, defining metamodernism as “the mercurial condition between and beyond irony and sincerity, naivety and knowingness, relativism and truth, optimism and doubt, in pursuit of a plurality of disparate and elusive horizons,” and concluding with a call to “go forth and oscillate!”