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A museum offered a big sum of money to a Danish artist to create an artwork. But the Danish artist delivers two blank canvases labeled “Take the Money and Run.”
The Kunsten Museum of Modern Art in Aalborg presented Jens Haaning with the equivalent of roughly $84,000 in Danish kroner and euro banknotes.
The museum commissioned him to produce two of his earlier installations. It featured bank notes mounted to a canvas depicting the average yearly pay in Denmark and Austria, for its exhibition “Work It Out”. It opened on Sept. 24. The institution not only loaned him the notes but also compensated him 25,000 kroner ($3,900) for his work.
The completed artworks, however, were blank when they arrived at the museum. The Danish artist delivered two blank canvases to the museum.
“The artwork is that I have taken the money”. Haaning narrated on a radio show on the P1 channel that is part of Danish broadcaster DR this week. He declined to say where the money was.
“It’s not theft. It is a breach of contract, and the breach of contract is part of the work: Hanning
The artwork represented his current job circumstances, according to Haaning.
“I encourage others who have just as miserable working conditions as I to do the same,” Haaning told P1. “If they are being asked to give money to go to work, then take the money and run.”
According to the museum, Haaning broke the agreement on how the funds will be used. It is yet to be decided whether to report Haaning to the authorities if he doesn’t return the money before the end of the show in January.
Haaning, on the other hand, denies committing a crime and claims to have created a work of art.
“It’s not theft. It is a breach of contract, and the breach of contract is part of the work,” Haaning told P1. He was not reachable for comment on Wednesday.
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