The Washington PostThe Washington Post

Danish artist gave a museum empty frames. Why it's more than just a stunt.

By Kelsey Ables

21 Sep 2023 · 3 min read

informed Summary

  1. Danish artist Jens Haaning was commissioned by the Kunsten Museum of Modern Art Aalborg to recreate two of his previous works, "An Average Austrian Annual Income" and "An Average Danish Annual Income", for an exhibition about labor. The museum lent him $84,000 to create the pieces, which were to be displayed in cash.

A few years ago, Danish artist Jens Haaning, 57, was growing frustrated with the cost of preparing a museum commission. After a bad car accident took Haaning off the road, he had to hire a driver to take him to Berlin and quarantine in a hotel for a week because of covid restrictions - all to frame the artworks there for an exhibition.

"Suddenly, the expenses carried on my shoulders got bigger and bigger," Haaning said in an interview with The Washington Post. He found it "completely unfair that I need to come up with money in my pocket to go to work."

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