Jens Haaning: A Danish artist who sent two blank canvases to a museum must return the money received for the commission | Culture | EUROtoday
A courtroom in Copenhagen (Denmark) this Monday sentenced the artist Jens Haaning, who in his work primarily addresses the challenge of racism, to return to a Danish museum the money received for commissioning two works. Haaning, 57, could not consider something higher than to hand over two blank canvases. This conceptual artist has exhibited in museums and galleries in Istanbul, Vienna, Dakar, Amsterdam, Stockholm, New York and Barcelona, amongst different cities. The Kunsten Museum of Modern Art in Aalborg (in the northwest of the nation) commissioned him in autumn 2021 to recreate two previous works of his through which he used money to symbolize the common annual wage in Denmark and Austria. In the first, from 2007, he confirmed krona banknotes fastened to a canvas in a body, and in a second work from 2011, about Austrian revenues, he used euro banknotes.
For this, the museum lent him 532,549 Danish crowns (about 71,500 euros), plus 40,000 that it gave him as charges, however what he received in return had been two blank canvases with the title Take the money and run.
The cause for these two specific creations was that Haaning needed to protest his working circumstances, however the museum, which nonetheless included the canvases in an exhibition, thought-about that he had violated the settlement and gave him a deadline to return the money till the pattern will shut in January 2022, earlier than going to courtroom. Haaning refused to return it.
Now the courtroom has agreed with the museum by mentioning that the contract signed between each events established that the quantity delivered had to be returned at the finish of the exhibition and that for there to be a change in the agreed circumstances, the written consent of the events was crucial. two contracting events. “The artist is, according to the agreement entered into, obliged to return that amount that was provided to him,” states the ruling, which could be appealed in the second occasion. In addition, the courtroom has rejected the artist’s declare in opposition to the museum for alleged violation of mental rights over his work. Museum director Lasse Andersson has stated the museum wants to “think carefully” about the way it spends its funds.
Haaning can have to bear the prices of the trial, though not less than he will probably be in a position to maintain the 40,000 Danish crowns (5,363 euros) in charges. The artist maintained that simply recreating the works had value him 25,000 crowns (greater than 3,000 euros) and that’s the reason he determined to ship two blank canvases. The artist has stated that his motion was not theft: “It is a breach of contract, and breach of contract is part of the job.” To which he added: “I encourage different individuals who have working circumstances as depressing as mine to do the identical. If they’ve a shitty job and they do not get paid, and on prime of that they ask them to put up money for the work, then they need to take what they’ll.”
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