Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP through Getty Ima
In autumn 2021, a Danish museum opened two massive crates to examine two works it had commissioned from the artist Jens Haaning.
However when museum workers pulled out the canvases — a brand new work the artist had knowledgeable the museum was titled Take the Cash and Run — the canvases had been utterly clean.
The museum, the Kunsten Museum of Trendy Artwork in Aalborg, had given Haaning a mortgage of 532,549 Dutch krone, the equal of about $76,400. The cash was for use to recreate two earlier works by Haaning that depicted — in precise chilly, arduous money affixed to canvas in a body — the common annual revenue of a Dane and an Austrian, and the sizable hole between them, reflecting wage variations throughout the European Union.
Now, Haaning has been ordered by a Copenhagen court docket to repay a lot of the cash — roughly $70,600 — in addition to the equal of a further $11,0000 in authorized charges.
“I’m shocked, however on the similar time it’s precisely what I’ve imagined,” Haaning informed Danish public broadcaster DR on Monday.
“We aren’t a rich museum,” Lasse Andersson, the museum’s director, informed The Guardian in 2021, explaining that the cash got here from reserves earmarked for the constructing’s repairs. “We now have to consider carefully about how we spend our funds, and we do not spend greater than we will afford.”
The court docket’s judgment deducted roughly $5,700 from the complete mortgage quantity to function Haaning’s artist’s payment and viewing payment, because the museum nonetheless exhibited the clean canvases in its “Work It Out” present.
The Kunsten Museum’s curators appeared to totally perceive Haaning’s which means.
“Haaning’s new work Take the Cash and Run can also be a recognition that artworks, regardless of intentions on the contrary, are a part of a capitalist system that values a piece primarily based on some arbitrary situations,” the museum says in its exhibition information. “Even the lacking cash within the work has a financial worth when it’s known as artwork and thus exhibits how the worth of cash is an summary amount.”
Haaning now seems to be in a little bit of a pickle, as he says that he does not have the cash to repay the museum.
“It has been good for my work, but it surely additionally places me in an unmanageable scenario the place I do not actually know what to do,” the artist informed DR.