The artist who kept a $84,000 museum loan for himself claims to be practicing conceptual art.
Jens Haaning, a Danish artist, was recently given a $84,000 loan to replicate two of his older pieces. Haaning, on the other hand, has decided to keep the money and use it to create a new piece of art. Take the Money and Run is the title he’s given to the composition.
These types of debates are nothing new in the art world, but they can bring to light the sometimes tense relationships that exist between artists and the organizations that sponsor them.
This incident occurs after Haaning received a loan of 538,000 kroner (about $84,000) from the Kunsten Museum of Modern Art in Aalborg, Denmark, to reproduce two of his previous works from 2007 and 2010. The former was meant to show the average annual income in Austria for that year in a frame, while the latter was its Danish counterpart.
According to The Art Newspaper, the updated versions of the artworks were intended to be part of an exhibition called “Work it Out,” which focused on labor and working life themes.
When Haaning’s artworks were delivered on September 24, the day before the exhibition began, museum employees discovered only empty frames and no trace of the money they had loaned Haaning.
According to the Kunsten Museum’s director Lasse Andersson, “Haaning sent us an email saying he believed it would be more fascinating to execute a new work, and it was named Take the Money and Run.”
Take the Money and Run, according to Haaning, is a conceptual art project that answers to the museum’s unfair conditions: the artist believes he would have had to pay 25,000 kroner (about $3,900) of his own money to fully realize the two artworks, according to Artnet.
Furthermore, the artworks, which were created several years ago, were no longer relevant in today’s setting, according to Haaning. “Why should we present a piece about Denmark…?” says the curator. On a radio broadcast last week, the artist asked, “Do you want one that’s about Austria’s relationship with a bank 14 years ago, or one that’s about Austria’s relationship with a bank 11 years ago?”
“I advise anyone in similarly deplorable working conditions to do the same,” he stated. “If they are working some s*** job and not getting paid, and they are being asked to pay money to go to work,. This is a condensed version of the information.