No stranger to sliding between bizarre parallel universes, Jerry O’Connell established his own realm next door to the alternate existence where Shia LaBeouf is actually making a grand artistic statement by turning the public spectacle of celebrity scandal into a forced intimate confrontation, instead of just sitting around with a bag on his head because he’s an asshole. As first reported by Buzzfeed—whose office is, not coincidentally, right across the street, because they are the gulls who swarm the trawler, etc. etc.—yesterday O’Connell set up “#IAMSORRYTOO” in the gallery adjacent to LaBeouf’s exhibit, creating an exact copy of LaBeouf’s installation, which is itself an exact copy of Marina Abramovic’s “The Artist Is Present,” which LaBeouf staged after being busted for making exact copies of things, and then we all took a hard look at the emptiness of art and celebrity and realized we are all identical paper dolls twisting in the hands of a bored child. Or something.
The difference is that O’Connell’s work is a knowing, Funny Or Die-sponsored parody of plagiarism, rather than one conceived after the fact as a way of dismissing plagiarism’s consequences. Also, O’Connell’s “implements” table had a Blu-ray of Stand By Me and a stuffed kangaroo for Kangaroo Jack, so you could make fun of him for being a fat kid or starring in shitty movies.
Another major difference: Rather than sitting in silence, letting the moistening of the eyeholes of his paper bag—on which he’d written “SUPER FAMOUS”—say everything about the immense pain he was pretending to feel, O’Connell actually talked, apologizing over and over again, no matter what was said. According to one correspondent’s report at E!, you could “hardly get a word in”—though O’Connell did offer him a bite of his sandwich. Vice’s Dave Schilling later said that the room smelled of “wet bologna,” which was likely either the lingering scent of that very sandwich, or the collective odor of so many fake tears pooling along the same stretch of Beverly Blvd.
Anyway, O’Connell’s installation has already closed and the video isn’t yet online, so you’ll have to wait to see an actor plagiarizing another’s performance art for deliberately inscrutable and self-serving needs. Or just go get in line for Shia LaBeouf.