1 Sep


The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam is having an intellectual navel-gazing session and a nice jolly for boring people who work at universities a symposium called Metamodernism at the end of September. Sadly it’s sold out, or was not open to the public in the first place, so we plebs will probably never know what happens when they “draw a cognitive map of our present in order to grasp the changing contours of our everyday lives, towards a paradigmatic shift lived by a generation born in the 1980s’, whatever that means. They’ll be answering a random collection of baffling questions that absolutely nobody ever wanted answered, such as: “What precisely constitutes a historical moment and/or rupture? What defines this generation that was born in the 1980s?” Ooh, I know… is it being in their late twenties to mid thirties, age wise? Do I win something? Oh shit, Francis Fukuyama’s had a rupture! I wondered what that smell was.

For no discernible reason “as the speakers inside the Stedelijk debate these questions and more, actor Shia LaBeouf will embark upon an actual (#meta)marathon around the perimeter of the museum.” There are more questions? I’m gagging with excitement, but the point is I don’t think they’re even joking about Shia LaBeouf. But if they let him indoors at the Stedelijk he might wipe his dirty bum across the floor like an incontinent dog, or something. So stay at the perimeter, you bad boy, dirty boy, sit, stay. Are they hoping he’ll be distracted by the opportunity to buy cheap booze at the Albert Heijn supermarket next door, like the other drunks who roll around in the park? That branch of Albert Heijn is particularly exciting because it’s underground. He might not be able to find his way out again without help.

They are serious, I think, although it’s almost impossible to do anything other than joke about LaBeouf. Admittedly he does have some track record in the category of claiming every stupid fucking thing you do is performance art when you’re really just losing your damn mind and making a fool of yourself. He did skipping rope via Skype to Auto Italia gallery in London earlier this year. I’m sure this was as profound as it sounds. The sort of artist I guess since that’s what he calls himself Luke Turner supposedly collaborated with LaBeouf on this arrant twaddle and bullshit, from which the symposium worryingly takes its title. Anybody who worked extensively with Michael Bay could be forgiven for loathing their own career and starting to delude themselves that they’re an artistic genius by comparison– and they wouldn’t necessarily be wrong– but it would still only be comparatively and not objectively true.

Amsterdam, though. Really? After all the

  • drunk driving
  • brawling
  • homophobic slurs
  • crying
  • paper bag wearing
  • aggravated, hostile plagiarism of web sites, tweets, books, comics, etc.
  • aggravated, hostile, plagiarised apologies for all the plagiarism
  • sky writing
  • getting his dick out to prove he’s serious
  • re-enacting Eric Cantona’s press conference meltdown
  • saying ha ha fooled you it was all performance art you sheeple OPEN YOUR MINDS
  • then claiming he didn’t want to be famous any more and flouncing off when everyone said no mate it isn’t art you just need to get a grip
  • then almost immediately flouncing back because he obviously does want to be famous

… does anybody think it’s sensible for Shia LaBeouf to be on the loose in Northern Europe’s stag night, magic mushroom, prostitution and dope utopia? In a venue with a bar, opposite a supermarket that sells booze, a few blocks away from the Heineken musuem? Joking aside, I think anybody who knows him personally and really cares about him should be facilitating his recovery instead of facilitating this self-destructive spiral into whatever the hell it is he thinks he’s doing.

There’s also the fact that numerous performance artists from all over the world are making incredibly interesting, insightful, effective, intelligent, generous, well-crafted, ORIGINAL work that deserves to be seen by a wider audience at major art museums. Obviously you’d pick Shia LaBeouf (Transformers, Transformers II, Transformers III, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) and his (#meta)marathon instead, if you had a choice. Or maybe that other great American artist, innovator and genius of our age, James Franco (Spider-Man, Spider-Man II, Spider-Man III, Rise of the Planet of the Apes). Franco refuses to recognise the inside or the outside of your heterohomobinazi closet, or your bourgeois expectation for people to have an aptitude for their chosen occupation. To prove you wrong he’s prodigiously untalented, awkward and boring in both of his careers, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Closets? Where we’re going, we don’t need closets. The in is the out is the in is the yin is the yang. Talent is a state of mind. Aha! Hence, art!


Unless of course they’re joking. Shia LaBeouf is a serious artist, and his thoughts on art and copyright are worth discussing… yeah, LOLZ, good one, guys. As if anyone would organise a symposium about anything so stupid.

2 Responses to “METASTUPID”

  1. Alistair 02/09/2014 at 2:59 PM #

    Reblogged this on Alistair Gentry.



    […] not only plagiarism but inferior plagiarism. Shia LaBeouf-tastic, my e-flux “comrades”! Nice to know you’re such fans of my blog, though. […]

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