Artist Ordered To Repay Museum $76,000 After Submitting Blank Canvases Titled ‘take The Money And Run’:
Jens Haaning was intended to use the 530,000 Danish krone loaned to him by a museum to create works of art, but instead he stole the money and fled in the name of art. After nearly two years of litigation, a court in Copenhagen ruled upon Monday that the artist had to repay nearly all of the money.
An artist has lost a protracted legal battle with a Danish museum shortly after submitting two vacant canvases and fleeing with the loaned funds that were supposed to be displayed on the canvases.
The pieces were based on two artworks that Haaning introduced in 2007 and 2010, respectively, titled An average Austrian yearly salary as well as An average Danish annual income, which commented upon the salaries of the average Danish as well as Austrian employees and contained banknotes tallying those amounts.
Jens Haaning Was Commissioned By The Museum To Recreate Two Of His Earlier Works:
The museum within Aalborg hired Haaning to recreate those artworks for its exhibit Work it Out, which stated visitors to query what they desired from their careers and was supposed to have held a combined 534,000 kroner in funding for a 2021 exhibition.
The museum hired the artist, Jens Haaning, to recreate two of his earlier paintings, “An Average Austrian Year Income” (2007) as well as “An Average Danish Annual Income” (2010), which exhibited cash within euros as well as Danish kroner.
According to the museum director, Haaning received 532,549 kroner plus fees and expenditures for his new artworks. However, Haaning astonished the museum by sending “Take the Money and Run,” which will be displayed from September 2021 to January 2022.
At The Conclusion Of The Exhibition, Haaning Did Not Refund The Money:
When the exhibition ended, Haaning failed to refund the money, prompting the museum in Aalborg, Denmark, to initiate a lawsuit. The court in Copenhagen cited the contract and disbursement receipt, which both specified that the kroner was to be returned following the exhibition.
Although Haaning stated that he had no intention of returning the funds, the court stated that the museum never consented to such terms.
Haaning’s vacant canvases belong to a genre of controversial works that challenge the value of art itself, such as Maurizio Cattelan’s banana-mounted wall and Banksy’s destruction of an auctioned painting.
Yves Klein, A Conceptual Artist, Exhibited A Blank Space To Thousands Of Individuals In 1958:
In 1958, Yves Klein, a conceptual artist, exhibited a vacant chamber to thousands of viewers. Regardless of the intent of Haaning’s works, the Copenhagen City Court found that he was “obligated” to repay the loaned funds, minus 40,000 kroner in artist as well as display fees.
In finding what Haaning owed, the court authorized him to retain nearly $6,000 of the museum’s loan as payment for the exhibition of “Take the Money and Run.”
Haaning stated within an interview upon Tuesday that he anticipated the ruling as well as that he did not repay the money because, in his opinion, retaining the money is art.
The Court Ruled That “Take The Money As Well As Run” Was “Inadequate” In Comparison To The Terms Of His Contract Alongside The Museum:
“I will even go so far to be to say that the clincher is the fact that I received the cash,” he said. “The concept is actually represented by the two vacant frames. The fact that I have stolen the money is therefore more essential than the lack of money.”
The court ruled that “Take the Money and Run” was “inadequate” in comparison to what was detailed within his contract with the Kunsten Museum, in which he had agreed to deliver two separate works.
The ruling also invalidated Haaning’s counterclaim, in which he claimed the museum had violated the work’s copyright. In the interim, the artist has been instructed to pay the associated legal fees.
When A Work Is Designated As Art, Even The Absence Of Money In It Has Monetary Value:
In a response to the decision, the director of the Kunsten Museum, Lasse Andersson, stated that he would not comment while the case was pending, noting that there was a four-week appeals period.
As part of the original exhibition, the museum stated upon its website that “Take the Money and Run” belonged to a tradition of art “that leaves materials to be a trace left behind or a framework for a concept as well as an action” while juxtaposing it to the works of Banksy and Bjorn Norgaard.
The museum added at the time, “Even the absence of money within the work possesses a monetary value when designated as art, demonstrating that monetary value can be an abstract quantity.”