Sebastian Acker

Born 1981 in Lichtenstein, East Germany
lives and works in Berlin

Sebastian Acker is a Berlin based artist and who has studied and worked in London for 15 years. Placing non-human matter centre stage, his practice examines how our environment is informed by a dualistic perception of “Culture” and “Nature”.

Believing that we are able to experience objects beyond the cultural narratives they represent, his videos, images and installations interrogate the anthropocentric myths of pristine wilderness and hyperreal environments through their material manifestations. An unexpected presence – or deceptive absence – of materiality has become central to his works: architectural spaces are dissected, man-made objects placed in natural environments, their surfaces faked, their volumes revealed or concealed. Imperceptible ecological processes, such as the distribution of carbon dioxide, chlorophyl or lithium are made tangible, for which he uses a wide range of tools including infrared satellite data. The results renegotiate the permeable borders of image and object and the manifold interrelations between meaning and matter.


2010-12 MFA Sculpture, Slade School of Fine Art, London
2004-07 BA (Hons) Spatial Design, Chelsea College of Arts, London
2002-03 Foundation, Chelsea College of Arts, London


Solo Exhibitions

2018 Ennis House, Black Flamingo Projects @ Fahrbereitschaft / Haubrok Foundation, Berlin
2017 Mountain Village (with Phil Thompson), Neuer Ravensburger Kunstverein, Germany


Group Exhibitions and Screenings (selection)

2020 Residenzpflicht, curated by msk7, Haus der Statistik, Berlin
2019 Transpresence (screening), Studio 4413, Saint Petersburg, Russia 
Kontext Festival, curated by Mariya Dmitrieva, Bolshoe Goloustnoe, Russia
2018 May the Bridges I Burn Light the Way, Exile Gallery at MANIFESTA 12, Palermo
Diving Into a Teacup (screening)ICA, London
Mountain Village (screening), Strelka Institute/The New Normal, Moscow
The Starting Point that will Also Be the Exit (screening), The Souvenir Museum, Paris
2015 Chelsea 10, Cookhouse Gallery/Triangle Space, London
Stones in a Field – Sorbus Video Week, Sorbus Galleria, Helsinki
Magnolia Cube, 114 Middleton Road, London
2014 Sanssouci Realty Issue #1: The Latte Vision (screening), curated by Attilia Fattori Franchini and Paul Flannery, tank.tv
Flow, Store, London
2013 Nova Art Prize, Phillips Auction House, London
2012 Ersatzmonument, C. Rockefeller Center for the Contemporary Arts, Dresden, Germany
The Function of the Oblique – Action, curated by Attilia Frattori Franchini, Son Gallery, London
The Function of the Oblique – Resistance, curated by Attilia Frattori Franchini, No Format Gallery, London
Come to Disruption, Arcadia Missa, London
Come to Disruption, Tove’s Galleri – Vesterbro ConTemporary Workout Space, Copenhagen
Slade Postgraduate Show, Slade School of Fine Art, London
2011 We Worked in Squares and Loved in Triangles, with Phil Thompson, SSE Space, London
Slade Interim Show, with Phil Thompson, Slade Research Centre, London
Bloomsbury Festival, with Phil Thompson, Gordon Square, London
2009 The Ceiling Show, Supine Studios, London


Awards and Honours (selection)

2020 Stiftung Kunstfonds, Publication Grant, Germany
2019 ‘Residenzpflicht’ Stipend, msk7 (supported by Senatsverwaltung Berlin), Germany
Kontext Residency, Dekabristen/Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Germany
2017 Arts Council England, project grant, UK
2013 Nova Art Prize, UK
Legion TV Residency, shortlisted, UK
Ideas Tap Film Fund (with Phil Thompson), UK
2012 Duveen Travel Scholarship (with Phil Thompson), UK
Land Securities Studio Award, UK
Danish Arts Council, Exhibition Grant with Come to Disruption, DK
2011 Littoral Arts Trust, Merz Barn Residency, Cumbria, UK.
2010 AHRC Scholarship, UK
2009 CeRCCa Residency, Llorenc del Penedes, Spain


Bibliography/Publications (selection)

2021 Sebastian Acker, Traces of Other Places (Berlin: Kerber, 2021, ISBN 978-3-7356-0761-4)
Stefan Fischer, “Gute Kopien”, Süddeutsche Zeitung, September 16, 2021, 35. Online version: “Ohne Kopie kein Original”, Süddeutsche Zeitung, September 15, 2021
2019 Maria Ines Plaza Lazo, “Notes on Palermo”, Arts of the Working Class, January 4, 2019
2018 Barbara Engel (ed.), Historical versus Modern: Identity through Imitation? (Berlin: Jovis, 2018, ISBN 978-3-86859-498-0)
“EXILE X Summer Camp: ‘May the Bridges I burn light the way'”, O Fluxo, October 18, 2018
2015 U. Ströbele, A. Greiner and J.P. Sexauer, 24h Skulptur – Notes on Time Sculptures (Berlin: Distanz, 2015, ISBN 978-3-95476-125-8) 94 
Martina Dlugaiczyk, “Aura für Alle”. In Die Ausstellungskopie, edited by Anette Tietenberg (Cologne: Böhlau, 2015, ISBN 978-3-412-22120-1) 99, 108
Martina Dlugaiczyk, “Surrogate Cities in China und Europa”. In Muster im Transfer, edited by Anette Tietenberg (Cologne: Böhlau, 2015, ISBN 978-3-412-22475-2) 247
Fernholme Road Living Project, Kitson Road No. 6, (London: Camberwell Press, 2015, ISBN 978-1-908971-40-1) 46
2014 Pau Cata, CeRCCa 2009-2014, (Barcelona: Centre de Recerca i Creacio Casamarles, 2014, ISBN: 978-84-617-1778-1) 28-29
2013 Allison C. Meier, “Capturing the Chinese Copy Town Trend”, Hyperallergic, May 14, 2013
Samuel Medina, “A Pair Of Artists Reveal China’s Counterfeit Cities”, FastCoDesign, May 20, 2013
Ryan O’Hanlon, “Why Is China Stealing Cities, Towns, and Buildings?”Pacific Standard, May 16, 2013
2012 Rozsa Farkas and Tom Clark, “How to Sleep Faster e2”, e-journal by Arcadia_Missa, December 2012
“Slade Sculpture 2012”, print collection, published by Slade School of Fine Art, June 2012
2011 “XY/Z – Sculpture 2011”, print collection, published by Slade School of Fine Art, June 2011
2009 Alistair Wildblood and Eugenia Ivanassevic,”Supine Studios Autumn/Winter 2009″, catalogue, November 2009


Talks and Lectures (selection)

2021 Sebastian Acker in conversation with Duncan Ballantyne-Way, Black Flamingo, Berlin
2019 Artist talk, Transpresence at Studio 4413, Saint Petersburg, Russia
Artist talk with msk7 / Residenzpflicht Residency, Modulare Unterkunft für Flüchtlinge, Berlin 
Artist talk, Kontext Festival, Bolshoe Goloustnoe, Russia
2018 Remote artist talk, Strelka Institute / The New Normal, Moscow
Fake news workshop, Institute for Strategic Dialogue, Facebook HQ, Berlin
2014 Visiting Artist Lecture, Contextual Practice Series, Chelsea College of Arts, London
2013 Duveen Talk, Slade School of Fine Art, London
2012 Artist Talk, Arcadia_Missa, London
2010 Guest Lecture, Spaces & Narrations Lecture Series, Chelsea College of Arts, London