Press Release

Copenhagen Contemporary (CC) is pleased to present Ex Situ. Samples of Lifeforms in collaboration with CHART and City of Basel: an international group exhibition with artists and works that address the constantly changing conditions of forms of life on planet Earth. At a time of accelerating transformations in global ecosystems, humans and animals leave and lose their natural habitat. The exhibition reflects the unruly state of migrating species trying to adapt to a new world where nature, culture and technology are inextricably entangled and enmeshed.



International exhibitions

International Archives 2nd half of 2017

Ex Situ, Samples of Lifeforms

Copenhagen Contemporary (Denmark)

01.09.2017 - 26.11.2018




The expression "ex situ" means "off-site" or "out of place." It is used by conservation biologists for the preservation of fauna and flora in man-made environments. The show’s starting point is to rethink the art space CC, which is housed in a large post-industrial box—similar to a water tank—on the harbour of Copenhagen. During the show the site takes on an appearance that is somewhat similar to an aquarium or, more broadly speaking, a so-called vivarium, i.e. a shelter for an artificially recreated environment, submarine or otherwise.

New and existing large-scale installations as well as smaller, more intimate works explore a variety of organic and inorganic forms, such as the life cycle of jellyfish or the routines of a shipping crew on board a freighter. Other works engage with the necessary conditions of life such as soil and, more prominently, water in an era marked by water reserve depletion, acidification of the oceans, rising sea levels, and mass extinction as well as the migration of people and species. The works in Ex Situ put conditions and forms of life on display for visitors to contemplate, similar to the way we look at an aquarium—except that here we are no longer standing on the outside, but inside of it.

Artists: A Kassen, Martin Erik Andersen, Alan Bogana, Tacita Dean, Roni Horn, Lauren Huret, Dominique Koch, Lena Maria Thüring, Keith Tyson, Hannah Weinberger and Pedro Wirz

Four curators—Alice Wilke and Claire Hoffmann (Basel), Jannie Haagemann and Toke Lykkeberg (Copenhagen)—have created this exhibition in collaboration, which features works by highly accomplished and upcoming artists from Swiss and Nordic contexts.

The exhibition is the result of a cultural partnership between the City of Basel, the Swiss ambassador in Denmark, CHART and Copenhagen Contemporary.

LIAF and NNKS receive operational support from the Arts Council Norway, the counties of Finnmark, Troms and Nordland, and the municipality of Vågan.


© ArtCatalyse International / Marika Prévosto 2017. All Rights Reserved

Exhibition 01 September - 26 November 2017. Copenhagen Contemporary
Trangravsvej 10-12  - 1436 Copenhagen (Denmark). Tel.  : +45 29 89 72 88. Hours:
Monday–Sunday 11am–9pm .






Ex Situ, Samples of Lifeforms, Copenhagen Contemporary
Lauren Huret, Deep Blue Dream (swamp version), 2015/2016. Video, HD, Pal, 1920 x 1080 px/p, 26 minutes looped. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Hunter Longe.

Lauren Huret, Deep Blue Dream (swamp version), 2015/2016. Video, HD, Pal, 1920 x 1080 px/p, 26 minutes looped. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Hunter Longe.