Artist surprises museum with blank pieces of art after being paid R1.27-million

Artist surprises museum with blank pieces of art after being paid R1.27-million

Unfortunately, it's not exactly what the Kunsten Museum of Modern Art in Aalborg had originally signed up for...

Museum lent artist R1,27 million to create completely blank pieces of art

Art is very subjective and almost no two people are likely to agree on whether something can be classified as "art" or even if they like it.

READ: Princess Charlene's recent Instagram post raises concerns about her mental state

One person might look at a banana taped to a wall and think it's a priceless piece of genius, while another might rip it off and eat it right there and then.

But what if there is literally nothing to look at? Especially when you know there's supposed to be something within the frames?

READ: WATCH: Shakira has been attacked by wild boars!

You would probably be quite baffled.

That's exactly what happened when Danish art museum, Kunsten Museum of Modern Art, unboxed what were meant to be two reproductions of works by Jens Haaning.

READ: Introducing the Korean show set to become Netflix's most popular show EVER!

Jens has previously created works that depicted the average annual salaries of an Austrian, using Euros, and a Dane, using Danish krone and framing the cash.

The museum was looking to add these two Jens pieces, which would have contained over R1.27-million worth of banknotes within their frames, to their exhibition on the future of labour.

READ: Doja Cat mentions Durban as she talks about Africa's hunger crisis, receives mixed reaction

However, when they unboxed the delivery ahead of the show, the staff were surprised to discover that the cash was missing. And it wasn't the work of any thief.

There was an email that was sent to the gallery and it stated the following:

READ: Con artist scammed friends out of over R9-million by lying about having cancer

Jens had kept the loan for himself instead of using the money for the commissioned artwork as intended. And he says he's doing it in the name of art.

And the name of the pieces?

"Take the Money and Run".

Seems fitting.

READ: WATCH: Woman takes bite of rotten fingertip while enjoying her burger

Furthermore, just like the very exhibition it was set to be a part of, the museum and the artist are now finding themselves in the middle of a dispute over contractual obligations, the value of the work, and labour.

The museum had lent Haaning 534,000 Danish krone (R1.27-million) to be used within the actual art pieces, agreed to pay him a further 10,000 krone (R23,800) for his work, and would have covered any framing and delivery costs.

READ: WATCH: Can you figure out this mind-bending car optical illusion?!

But according to Jens, the project would have left him with less than when he had started because of studio costs and staff salaries.

CNN spoke to Jens and he further explained his reasoning:

READ: SEE: Proudly SA artist designs special heritage tin for Nescafé Ricoffy

Lasse Andersson, the Kunsten's director, also maintains that they have upheld their end of the deal by paying artists a reasonable fee and honouring their contracts.

In the meantime, the empty artwork is being displayed in the museum and Andersson says that Jens has until January (when the exhibition ends) to return the money and repay his loan or the museum will take legal action.

READ: Nando's gets Mzansi laughing with their savage 'Khumbul'ekhaya' Twitter reply

We're not sure who is going to win this ultimate stand-off but you can be sure to find another update right here in January 2022.

More on East Coast Radio

Stacey and J Sbu podcasts

Main image courtesy of @VaJohn/Twitter

Show's Stories