Next door to Shia LaBeouf’s #IAMSORRY exhibit, Jerry O’Connell is participating in a similar art stunt for Funny Or Die — so similar, in fact, that one might even call it plagiarism.
Which is obviously the point. LaBeouf has already drawn flak for his exhibit’s plagiarism of Marina Abramovic’s installation “The Artist is Present” at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, so if #IAMSORRYTOO is plagiarism, it’s a copy of a copy.
The experience is much the same for visitors, who can choose from a table of implements — including a Blu-ray copy of Stand By Me, which O’Connell starred in as a kid. Unlike LaBeouf, however, O’Connell speaks, tearfully apologizing for all the world’s ills and holding out his hand.
I asked for a photo, which he approved. And then disapproved. And then approved again. I snapped a few while he was approving.
O’Connell is also wearing a paper bag over his head, though his says “SUPER FAMOUS” in contrast to LaBeouf’s “I AM NOT FAMOUS.” I asked him to take off his mask, which he finally agreed to. Apparently it’s very hot under there — and he can also smell his own breath.
Like LaBeouf, O’Connell is a former child actor, though his artistic pursuits are a more recent phenomenon. As in, they apparently just started this afternoon. #IAMSORRYTOO runs until “5 p.m.-ish” on Feb. 22. There is already a line forming.
UPDATE: During a short break from filming his Funny Or Die video, Jerry O’Connell sat down with BuzzFeed to discuss out how it all came together — all of which was news to his publicist, Nicki Fioravante.
“When I heard my publicist was here, I was like, ‘Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!” O’Connell said, laughing. “Because it’s award season, which is a busy time — well, for her, not me.”
After his fears were assuaged, O’Connell explained how this installation spoof came together. “A very good friend of mine, Jensen Karp, owns a gallery called Melrose 1988,” O’Connell told BuzzFeed. “He emailed me at 7:30 a.m. this morning. My wife is working, I’m on daddy duty, and it seemed like a fun thing to do today. So I dropped the kids off and drove right over here. ”
And much like the thousands of people who’ve lined up to meet Shia, O’Connell is a fan of what LaBeouf is doing. “Everyone’s talking about it, whether you want to call it art or a real apology, it’s hilarious. He’s getting people talking. I’m all for this artsy gallery thing. It’s fun to parody because all I have to do here is sit with a bag on my head, crying, and saying, ‘I sowwy.’ But I have to tell you; it’s freeing to continually apologize like he does. I get it. ”
O’Connell said he is curious to know if LaBeouf would find what he’s doing equally funny. “The only thing we’re fearing is that Shia, who I don’t know personally, is known to fly off the handle. I just need fair warning if he comes storming in here for a bagged man on bagged man fight because I can’t see out of this paper bag. I’m sweating like Shia in an apology booth in here. I just need warning to take cover. ”
A confrontation is doubtful though, as O’Connell said he has no plans to wait in LaBeouf’s queue. “There’s no fucking way I’m going over there,” he said. “I wouldn’t wait in that line to see a Shia movie!”