“What started as an actual full blown existential crisis is now a full blown existential exploration”
- Shia Labeouf, dazeddigital.com
Actor Shia Labeouf has been well-known since his early years. From starring in Even Stevens on the Disney Channel to a more serious and action-filled role in the Transformers franchise, it is without a question that he has a great and prominent presence in the world of media, and with that, it is not unexpected for people to react as such to his current reputation as an artist of the so-called metamodernism. Although there have been criticisms regarding his mental state, once one understands or at least gets to know his perspectives, you'd realize that he is in fact, a creative intellect.
Instead of listing down all the weird things Shia has done that you could read on other websites for the past few years, I want to somehow enlighten you on why he actually deserves to be understood and quite frankly, appreciated.
But first, what is this so-called metamodernism? Well it's a very complex term that one person wouldn't grasp in just one sitting. We also have to recognize postmodernism and modernism for that matter. I'll try my best to break it down for you:
I know, it's still quite hard to understand what metamodernism really is, believe me. But I guess what we can pick up from it in relation to Shia Labeouf is that it can serve as a cathartic process in which one can discover a whole new self. He did admit that he had some sort of an existential crisis back then, and I think by contributing to the development of metamodernism, he has found a voice. A voice that has been created by art and is still being created by art.
When he was asked about his decision to part from the public eye and to claim ownership over himself in an interview with a Dazed & Confused Magazine journalist, he said:
"I’m in a nice position in that I don’t think the studios look to me to sell a film anymore. So the work I wind up doing has little or nothing to do with my public persona and everything to do with my performance. Persona acting has little to nothing to do with ability and everything to do with charisma and ticket sales... After five years of that your dreams die. So in a sense I went on strike. I rebelled." x
I think this statement alone has made me respect him so much more. He recognizes that there was a point where hollywood only appreciated him for bringing the much needed money and sales they achieved to have. It was more about hiring him because he was famous not because he has talent, and I seriously admire him for taking that load of bullshit and throwing it out the window.
You might have heard the rigorous process he experienced to truly get into his role for Fury. He did not shower for four months, he pulled his own tooth, slashed his face, and joined the US National Guard. These are only fragments of what he willingly went through. Other than that, you may have also hear about his performance piece called #IAMSORRY in which anyone could sit across from him at a table and talk to him or even do things to him. Some called it bad art; that it was a lousy imitation of the works of performance artists such as Marina Abramovic and the worst part is that he was actually raped by a women during the performance. x
His methods of self discovery might not be everyone's cup of tea, but you can't deny the fact that what this man is doing is beyond the limitations of what most of us can endure. I wouldn't call it bad art because really, how does art become bad if it's main belief is to serve as a platform for self-expression?
We might not fully comprehend the mindset of Shia Labeouf, but we can definitely try to appreciate it in some ways.
To view Shia's other works go to thecampaignbook.com
- Reign Gonzales
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