Acme, supporting artists since 1972

Acme Project Space


The Acme Project Space ran from June 2009 to December 2015. It provided an opportunity for those artists who are part of our Residency & Awards Programme and our International Residencies Programme with a public space within which to develop projects, show new work and engage in a critical dialogue with a wider audience.


Candice Jacobs, Milou van der Maaden, Isa Melsheimer & Rachel Pimm

‘Planta: Notes on Botanical Dissidence’ 8.5.2015 - 24.5.2015

Milou van der Maaden, Tell it to the plants (work in progress), 2015
Milou van der Maaden, Tell it to the plants (work in progress), 2015
Rachel Pimm, FYE-kuss e-LASS-tick-uh, 2014, split screen video on flatscreen monitors, 6:41 mins
Candice Jacobs, Pachira Aquatica #4, 2015, ascii art generated with self-made computer program, digital print
Isa Melsheimer, Botanische Kugel, 2013, projection
Milou van der Maaden, Ratu Adil, 2014, video, 17:44 mins


Thursday to Sunday 1pm to 6pm

Private View: Thursday 7 May, 6pm to 9pm

In partnership with Acme Studios, students from the Curating Contemporary Art MA present Planta: Notes on Botanical Dissidence at the Acme Project Space, as part of an ongoing partnership between the Royal College of Art and Acme Studios Residency & Awards Programme.

Premised on the investigative model of note-taking, the group show is an exploration into the conceptual potential of plants, often silently present but frequently neglected in the overarching discourses of history. The exhibition includes work by Candice Jacobs, Milou van der Maaden, Isa Melsheimer and Rachel Pimm.

In bringing together the work of these artists, the show suggests ways in which ‘plant processes, as well as vegetal images and metaphors,’ could, in the words of philosopher Michael Marder, begin to ‘exert a formative influence on thinking.’ 

On Thursday 21 May at 6.30pm the curators present a screening of "How to breathe and feel with plants?", a talk by Michael Marder, Research Professor of Philosophy at the University of the Basque Country. This presentation, especially recorded by Marder for the event, is based on a book co-authored with Luce Irigaray. Against the prevalent treatment of plants as objects to satisfy our needs, Marder proposes a way to attune our breathing and sensory practices to their unique vitality. In a mélange of theoretical reflection and personal narrative, Marder explores how humans can participate in the essentially superficial modes of respiration, feeling and indeed being that define vegetal life. The screening will be followed by a discussion with artists Milou van der Maaden and Rachel Pimm facilitated by the exhibition curators.

The event is free, but booking is required:

Further information can be found at:

The work of Milou van der Maaden, recipient of Acme’s Adrian Carruthers Studio Award, was a catalyst for the show’s theme; plants are both props and prompts in her pieces, linking the ‘here’ of the artwork with the ‘elsewhere’ of the complex legacies of the Dutch-Indonesian colonial past. Her new work "Tell it to the plants" (2015), especially commissioned for this exhibition, addresses the parallels between the botanical and human body, instrumentalised by science at the service of intelligence forces.

Starting in botanical gardens across Europe, Isa Melsheimer retraces the journey of plants across oceans. Her multi-media research investigates the shift in plants’ value from ‘green gold’ during the colonial age to their banalisation as contemporary commodities. Mobility and rootedness are addressed differently by Rachel Pimm, in a deadpan commentary of plants as post-colonial symbols of affluence. Through her films on corporate green-washing, Pimm considers the boundaries between the natural and the artificial. Corporate environments are also alluded to in a series of prints by Candice Jacobs, which explores the aesthetic codes of plants in the workplace.


Previous shows

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