What Shai LaBaf’s performance at the 2014 Berlin Film Festival can teach us

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Shaya LaBaf is today the main enfant terrible of the art world. This is evidenced by numerous escapades at press conferences, art performances offline and on social networks, scandals with the police and, in general, what we especially appreciate lately, the courage to be yourself. LaBuff was born into a family of artists – his father worked as a circus clown, and his mother a dancer (and then an artist and designer). Artists differ from others in their free-thinking and freedom-loving nature, and Shaye was fortunate to inherit these rare qualities.

He changed his faith for the sake of the role – during the filming of “Rage” LaBuff converted to Christianity. He gave up make-up in favor of the real cuts he inflicted on himself – for the same “Rage”. He did not hesitate to say that Spielberg’s film “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”, in which he himself played, failed (which ruined the relationship with the director). All the above actions speak of one thing: the love of truth and the present. He was detained many times by the police, he disrupted press conferences, and all this was actively enjoyed by the tabloids for many years. But in 2014, all of LaBaf’s petty hooliganism on the street was forgotten – thanks to a lengthy performance that began on Twitter and ended in galleries around the world.

Shaya LaBaf, 2014

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Throughout January 2014, LaBuff tweeted the same phrase on Twitter: “I’m not famous anymore.” The Nymphomaniac premiered at the Berlin Film Festival in February, starring LaBuff. The tape attracted a lot of attention from the press and the public, and, as he later explained, such publicity became too heavy a burden for him. LaBuff, accustomed to hiding in a paper bag from the ubiquitous paparazzi, decided to repeat his daily trick on the red carpet. I Am Not Famous Anymore (“I’m not famous anymore”) – said a homemade shield of the actor from prying eyes, who was experiencing an existential crisis at the time. That evening, no one cared what Stacey Martin and Uma Thurman were wearing – the main item of clothing was an ordinary paper bag from the supermarket, which turned into a stationary accessory.

However, LaBaf’s public life did not end there – he soon staged a performance in the endurance art genre in Berlin, which Marina Abramovich would have liked. LaBuff sat completely alone in an empty gallery room with the same package on his head, and any visitor could do anything with him for an hour. The main condition – the actor must be silent. After some time, he admitted that he had been sexually abused by a visitor. Such freedom was given to the public in 1974 by Marina Abramovich, who also suffered from it.

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