Shia LaBeouf is spending 24 hours in a lift as part of an art project at the Oxford Union where the Hollywood star is due to giving a talk tonight. (Friday 19 February). As with his previous projects, LaBeouf is streaming the event, called ELEVATE, live on YouTube on the union's page, which it says "acts as an extended 24-hour talk."
Collaborating with Finnish artist Nastja Sade Ronkko and Briton Luke Turner the actor will spend several hours before and after the event speaking to students inside the lift. "Visitors will be able to join LaBeouf, Rönkkö & Turner inside the elevator during this time, and are invited to address the artists, the debating chamber, and the internet, so that their collective voices may form an extended, expansive and egalitarian Oxford Union address," it explained.
"The performance and access to the Union debating chamber will be free and open to the public for the full 24 hours."
Speaking to students in the lift, LaBeouf said he was invited by the president of the union after the actor set up his own call centre in Liverpool, which members of the public could phone to ask him questions. The 29-year-old star said: "Stuart the president said: 'Do you want to stand in the same spot as Malcolm X?' "Who... am I to argue with that?"
He added: "[It's about] getting to know people, connecting to people. Men who get lost, like explorers, end goal is they hope they find a new world, a new land. We're hoping that we find a more sincere affect."
LaBeouf was encouraged to get into performance art by Nyphomaniac director Lars von Trier. In December last year the actor travelled to Liverpool where he and his art collective sat at a table and took calls from members of the public for four days in a project called #TOUCHMYSOUL.
For #IAmSorry, he sat at an LA gallery again wearing a paper bag and allowed people to come up and spend time with him. He left fans stunned after declaring that he was whipped and raped during the performance art by a woman he didn't know.
According to the 28-year-old actor, the attack occurred on Valentine's Day 2014, during his week-long #IAMSORRY performance art installation. For the #MetaMarathon the Transformers star ran 144 laps of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam in purple Spandex, holding a baton with anyone who wanted to run alongside him.
In November 2015 he launched #ALLMYMOVIES in New York where he struggled to stay awake as he was joined by hundreds of fans to watch all of his films back-to-back in a cinema. He drew attention to himself when he wore a paper bag over his head with "I am not famous anymore" written on it at the Berlin Film Festival in 2014.
LaBeouf began his career as a child actor on the Disney Channel comedy Even Stevens in 1999. He shot to fame after starring in Transformers and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, but has recently become more focused on experimental art.