Artist kept the museum’s money and calls it conceptual art
A Danish artist was given $85,000 by a museum to utilize in two artworks, but instead turned in two empty frames titled “Take the Money” and “Run”.
The Kunsten Museum of Modern Art in Aalborg, according to director Lasse Andersson, lent artist Jens Haaning $85,000 in Danish kroner banknotes to replicate two of his earlier pieces including cash in a frame.
The pieces, named An Average Danish Annual Income and An Average Austrian Annual Income, were created for a museum show on labor. Cash in a frame represented yearly salaries for typical employees in Denmark and Austria in the original works.
Andersson said museum officials expected to see fresh replicas of the currency pieces in the package they got from Haaning but instead discovered two empty frames.
Andersson told Danish broadcaster DR, “Haaning sent us an email saying he thought it was more interesting to do a new work, and it was called Take the Money and Run.”
Officials are also afraid, according to Andersson, that Haaning would not honor his commitment to return the money to the museum on Jan. 14, 2022, when the show is set to conclude.
He stated, “We are not a rich museum.”
“We are really hoping the money will come back.”
Haaning told DR that he had no intention of returning the funds.
He stated, “Of course I will not pay it back.”
“The work is that I took the money and I will not give it back.”
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