Love him or hate him, there’s something weirdly compelling about actor-turned-performance artist Shia Labeouf. Watching him do one of his “stunts” is strangely mesmerising, a lot like being entranced by a lava lamp – except one that’s likely to smash up a paparazzi or plagiarise you. Here are some of the fun and games he brought to us this year…
This video emerged online this year and shows a topless Shia having a freestyle rap with some lads on a beach, as you do. There’s no context provided so we don’t know if he was at a party with mates or just randomly approaching people for a battle rap. Unsurprisingly after the video came out there were claims that he’d (surprise, surprise) copied some of the lyrics from rap group The Anomalies 1999 track Perfectionist. To be honest, had Shia not ripped it off someone else it’d have been weirder.
Channelling his inner Forrest Gump and dressed in Day-Glo spandex like an extra in an Olivia Newton-John exercise video, Shia ran a marathon by himself doing 144 laps around the Stedelijk museum in Amsterdam. The act, dubbed by Shia, the #metamarathon took place while a 12-hour conference was happening inside the building. It’s unclear what the point of the run was but one suspects that he was trying to run away from his own massive, pretentious sense of self.
Watching All His Own Movies Back To Back
Apparently Shia was prompted to do the #ALLMYMOVIES stunt, in which he spends a weekend in a New York cinema watching all his own films in reverse chronological order, when he heard Johnny Depp claim that he never watches any of his films back. The stunt was broadcast via webcam where viewers were able to watch a locked off shot of Shia’s face as he went through the visual timewarp. In fairness though, fair play to him, if any of us were forced to sit through even one of Shia’s films we’d harpoon our own eyes out with a rusty pen.
#IAMSORRY Art Piece
After claims that Shia ripped off Daniel Clowes cartoon Howard Cantour, Shia embarked on an epic campaign of public contrition that involved him sky writing I Am Sorry into the air above LA and culminated in the #IAMSORRY performance art piece in which Shia sat in a chair where members of the public could come in and interact with him. There were claims made at the time that a woman sexually assaulted Shia during one of the days of the show.
Elastic Heart Music Video
Shia showed off his modern dance skills in the controversial video for Sia’s track Elastic Heart which featured Shia and Dance Mom’s 13-year-old star Maddie Ziegler dressed in skin-toned spandex and acting out a sort of semi-rapey dance fight that prompted claims that the video condoned paedophilia.
Shia became a viral sensation again this year when he released this video of him reading motivational emails that had been written by college students.
Perhaps the best Shia moment in 2015 was when he emulated enigmatic footballing god Eric Cantona’s famous seagull line at a Q&A panel to promote Lars Von Trier’s film Nymphomaniac.
Taking Calls From The Public In A Liverpool Art Studio
The most recent of Shia’s forays into art was when he and his cohorts set up a hotline in Liverpool Museum which encouraged callers to touch his soul through words leading many to write heartfelt messages which were then posted onto a website set up specifically for it. Although there’s a certain amount of editing going on because having scanned through the messages the ones that call him a dickhead are conspicuously absent.
Paper Bag Over The Head
Perhaps the most iconic image of Shia will be when he wore a paper bag emblazoned with the words “I’m Not Famous Anymore” over his head to the Berlin premiere of Nymphomaniac.