In collaboration with CPH:DOX

17 mar – 20 may 2018

What if we could live and fly without using fossil fuel? What if art could eradicate poverty? And what if artistic methods could be used to prove crimes against humanity? These are some of the big questions raised by the participating artists in the group exhibition #whatif. The exhibition presents internationally renowned artists such as Forensic Architecture, Renzo Martens and CATPC, Lara Baladi, Naeem Mohaiemen Tomás Saraceno, Marcus Lindeen and Larry Achiampong. Throughout their projects, these artists are attempting to change current political structures and find ways to reshape society.

Inspired by the impact that social and political experimental projects have had on society, particularly in the 1960s-70s, #whatif presents a number of contemporary artists who attempt to rethink and change current political and social structures through their practice.

The exhibition’s hashtag title is employed to open a discussion about today’s social and political development. Social media is used in the creation of social movements and hashtags have become a useful tool for signalling political opinion on digital platforms and gathering crowds, disseminating political beliefs and instigating change (#BlackLivesMatter, #metoo, #Jan25, #Resist).

Based on this premise, curator Irene Campolmi invited a number of contemporary artists selecting artistic projects that, by unfolding this topic with critical insight, answer to the hypothetical question ‘what if’ within a range of problematic current political and social issues.

Featured artists
The exhibition presents sculpture, installations and films by Larry Achiampong, Lara Baladi, Forensic Architecture, CATPC & Renzo Martens, Naeem Mohaiemen, Marcus Lindeen and Tomás Saraceno.

Each exhibition gallery is dedicated to an artistic project that envisages new ways to live on an increasingly fragile planet. Renzo Martens and CATPC redress the capitalist economic inequality between northern and southern hemispheres. Forensic Architecture pursues investigations that challenge governmental authorities by providing new evidence of crimes against humanity. Lara Baladi explores the action of archiving as a means of resisting political oppression. Marcus Lindeen and Naeem Mohaiemen both unveil new aspects of the rise and fall of a social and a political experiment from the 1970s, respectively. Tomás Saraceno explores concrete ways to inhabit the world in the Aerocene, an epoch of ecological consciousness and ethical collaboration with the environment. Larry Achiampong explores Afrofuturism and reflects on African identity after the diaspora.

The exhibition is curated by Irene Campolmi.



Artist talk
March 17, 15.00-16.00, Kunsthal Charlottenborg
A Conversation between curator Irene Campolmi and Lara Baladi, MIT Lecturer, Program in Art, Culture and Technology; Ida Ely Rubin Artist in Residence, Centre for Art, Science & Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

World premiere of the documentary ‘The Raft’
Director: Marcus Lindeen
Int. Dox Award Nominee

17 March 16:30, Grand Teatret
20 March 19:00, Palads
21 March, 12:15, Cinemateket
24 March 14:00, Charlottenborg

Meet the director at the world premiere on 17 March at the Grand cinema and on 24 March at Kunsthal Charlottenborg, along with the film team. Marcus Lindeen will give a masterclass as part of the ART:FILM conference held on 23 March at Kunsthal Charlottenborg. The raft used in the film is exhibited at Kunsthal Charlottenborg as part of the exhibition #whatif. The film will be shown in Danish cinemas from 5 September as part of the DOXBIO initiative. Further information about ‘The Raft’

Part of CPH:DOX at Kunsthal Charlottenborg
#whatif is presented in collaboration with CPH:DOX, Denmark’s international documentary film festival. From 15 to 25 March, CPH:DOX transforms Kunsthal Charlottenborg into an international festival palace. Featuring an range of events and activities such as #whatif, Social Cinema, VR:Cinema & Inter:Active, The Living Room and Cph:Conference, the festival offers films, lectures, discussions, performances, virtual reality features, concerts and more to the audience. For more information about the CPH:DOX programme at Kunsthal Charlottenborg


Press material

Press release Signage Poster


The Obel Family Foundation, The Swedish Embassy, The Danish Egyptian Dialogue Institute (DEDI) and the Danish Arts Foundation.