Sensing that Justin Bieber’s increasingly bold acts of artistic expression have begun to overshadow him—like a modern-day rivalry between the Michelangelo and Da Vinci of being an asshole—Shia LaBeouf quickly reminded everyone he’s also been innovating new movements in celebrity scorn. “In the midst of being embroiled in acts of intended plagiarism, the world caught me and I reacted,” LaBeouf said in a since-deleted, yet Internet-preserved tweet. “The show began,” he added, explicitly couching his many years of quietly passing off the works of others as his own as a one long act of “meta-modernist performance art”—just as some in the media had mockingly suggested and he’d quickly adopted, as a means of saving face.
LaBeouf says he staged this “#stopcreating” show “with the help” of Luke Turner, whose “Meta-Modernist Manifesto” LaBeouf recently passed off as his own; poet and conceptual artist Kenneth Goldsmith, whose signature work, Uncreative Writing, LaBeouf copied large passages from, prompting Goldsmith to say LaBeouf “had no clue” about the craft that goes into plagiarism-as-art; and his current Fury director David Ayer, who presumably “helped” LaBeouf by keeping him employed, so he could spend his nights finding new things to steal and getting into bar fights.
You can read the rest of LaBeouf’s explanation of his “performance art” below. Fittingly, much of it is copied verbatim from the 1973 documentary Painters Painting. There’s also the declaration that “All art is either plagarisum [sic] or revolution”—quoted from Paul Gauguin, then transformed through LaBeouf’s mangled misspelling to make it a wholly new work of art. Meanwhile, his second tweet, a lengthy manifesto of his Twitter-based “Performance a#RT” is, lifts whole sections from past performance art manifestos written by the likes of Marilyn Arsem, Scotch Wichmann, and Marina Abramovic—whose “An Artist’s Life,” which LaBeouf steals liberally from, all while lying to himself and others that this is all intentional art, begins with these two creeds: “An artist should not lie to himself or others” and “An artist should not steal ideas from other artists.”
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But by so blatantly stealing these ideas and then exhausting everyone with his attempts to pass it off as performance art, LaBeouf claims, he started the necessary conversations about the nature of plagiarism. Specifically, conversations about Shia LaBeouf’s plagiarism, which immediately made everyone realize, definitively, that they hate Shia LaBeouf. “The fact that they were started at all is a positive thing,” he says, in which he is correct.