Knewz.com has learned Jens Haaning is under a court order to pay more than $80,000 because of what he submitted to Kunsten Museum of Modern Art in 2021.
Haaning’s submission: two blank canvases. Nothing but fields of white.
While this may sound like a gag for The New Yorker or the Babylon Bee website, Haaning insists he was serious about what he did.
“I am shocked, but at the same time it is exactly what I have imagined,” Haaning told a Danish broadcaster on September 18 after learning about a court ruling.
Some may find it ironic that Haaning titled his submissions Take the Money and Run. He received a loan from the Kunsten Museum of Modern Art for the project.
According to National Public Radio and WUSF-FM, Haaring’s assignment was to recreate earlier artwork that actually had something on it.
The goal was to show wage inequality within the European Union.
The museum in Aalborg did not seem to be offended when the blank canvases arrived. In fact, it displayed them and found meaning to them.
“Take the Money and Run is also a recognition that works of art, despite intentions to the contrary, are part of a capitalist system that values a work based on some arbitrary conditions,” the museum’s exhibition guide explained.
The lack of currency on the canvases “has a monetary value when it is called art and thus shows how the value of money is an abstract quantity,” the guide added.
“It’s not theft. It is a breach of contract, and breach of contract is part of the work,” Haaning said in 2021.
But the museum took Haaning to court, anyway.
“We are not a wealthy museum,” director Lasse Anderson when a lawsuit was filed in 2021. “We don’t spend more than we can afford.”
A judge decided Haaning could keep about $5,700 of the loan from the museum as artist and viewing fees. After all, the canvases were hung in the museum.
The rest of the loan must be repaid, along with about $11,000 in court fees.
But giving the rest of the Take the Money and Run loan back is something Haaning says he can’t do right now — he doesn’t have the money.
“It has been good for my work, but it also puts me in an unmanageable situation where I don’t really know what to do,” he said.
The post Blank Canvases Cost Artist $80,000 Even Though European Museum Showed Them, Judge Rules appeared first on Knewz.
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Author: Richard Burkard
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