Sebastian Klug (* 1981 in Munich) is a German photographer and visual artist based in Berlin. He started using photography while studying architecture and since 2008 has exhibited widely. His work was chosen as a highlight at the European Month of Photography Festival in Berlin in 2010 and across venues in various cities including Munich, Cologne, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Venice, Turin, Genoa, London, Chicago and Detroit. He was featured in "Artist Quarterly" at Sotheby's Munich in 2019 and was nominated for "Preis der Nationalgalerie" in 2021.
Klug's practice spans between the fields of photography, paper work and installation. His approach to photography emerges from the genuine desire to document his experiences as he explores the night life of his new home of choice, Berlin. Using a Nokia 6300 mobile phone in low light levels, he creates an atmospheric visual diary that mixes the grain, noise and strange colors of his phone’s pictures with that of his nocturnal encounters.
As a trained architect, he seeks to combine the interest in sculptural modelling with his passion for photography. He has created a technique that combines two prints of a photograph by cutting and interweaving them into a three-dimensional hybrid between an image and an object. In this way his photographs are allowed to grow into space and emphasize the material aspects of the image-carrier. As part of his playful mise-en-scene of the paper, he pulls strips out of the woven fabric and creates waving, relief-like structures. Other pieces combine the prints with materials such as foils or fabrics, or even play with the image’s perspective, by cutting the photograph towards the vanishing point and shifting the strips along the perspectival lines. As a result, the image is manually distorted and pixelated, the latter closing the circuit to the very basics of digital image formation.
Other than his woven objects that make the viewer’s focus oscillate between the material features and the image content, he finds a way to leave the classical format of photography in his installations and to step into free space. Both the freely wafting installation in a former prison in Berlin-Köpenick and the full-room installation with its wave-like all-over-structure in Munich expand the range of the medium and create immersive environments.
As Europe’s cherished club scene slumbers beneath the shroud of COVID, the fragments of what was seep across different mediums as a new expression of old desires. What is left in the reflection of a shattered disco ball?
Sebastian Klug’s series ‘Mirage’ weaves a unique narrative, in both the literal and figurative. Through the eye of a by-then glaucomic Nokia 6300, the trained architect captures images of bars and clubs across various cities, a distillation of nightlife unfettered, yet seen through an obsolete technology. One might apply this ancient phone’s low-res camera to the haze of an infinite number of evenings spent amongst darkened rooms thick with the hum and throb of pulsating exuberance and intoxication.
Using an interwoven technique that combines two photographs into a chimaeric sculpture, Klug reconceptualizes the events of one night or several, blurring the boundaries between image and object, as well as artifact and memory. Clear ideas are stripped of context; what you thought you knew has become something entirely different. New patterns emerge in the spaces between, a secret and intimate language born of night. It tells of the illusion that permeates our forays into those dimmed halls of joy—that this is Forever.
In this Blurred New World, the architect's hands are our guide. While the shape of these memories might seem familiar, they travel to phantasmagorical places.
Daniel Jones for "Photographic Landscapes"- exhibition, EMOP Berlin 2020
Ina Köhler, Museumsjournal 4/2010