Haaning managed to get $84,000 from the museum after claiming he will use it for creating two new art pieces that were to be based on a previous installation that measured how much a Dane and an Austrian made in a year.
The artist claimed the new works, exhibited as “Take The Money And Run,” were going to be continued with the same idea as its predecessors but instead of focusing on salary he is going to work with another topic linked to money: inflation. In his explanation for the change of plan, Haaning said that he wanted to show how “the value of money changes over time.”
The museum agreed to Haaning’s proposal and granted him the full amount of the budget. However, after four months without any news from Haaning about his piece, which was supposed to be exhibited at an opening night in September, they decided to contact him only to find out that he is not around anymore and that he disappeared with all the cash.
It is unclear whether Haaning’s scam can be considered art, but it is without a doubt that his actions have caused embarrassment to the museum and to the city of Aalborg. The artist has since come back and returned the two empty canvases he managed to produce with the money, but this still leaves a sour taste in everyone’s mouth, especially because of the amount of money that was wasted in this failed project.
The museum was not happy with the result, however, and accused Haaning of fraud. The artist then responded by returning the two empty canvases and changing the title of the work to “Take The Money And Run.”Jens Haaning is a Danish artist and painter. He was born in 1955 and graduated from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 1979. His work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally, with his most recent solo exhibition being “The Naked Soul Exposed,” which took place at Kunsten Museum of Modern Art in Aalborg, Denmark in 2016. In 2017, he received the Eckersberg Medal.