Memorial Exhibition of Immersive, Experiential Work by Bobby Anspach Opens In His Former Studio in Gowanus, Brooklyn
Exhibition offers rare opportunity to experience Bobby’s intimate, experiential machines – currently under patent approval – that build a connection between the self and the wider world
Images and information here
EXTENDED THROUGH NOVEMBER 12
Open to the public by appointment on Fridays, Saturdays, & Sundays (link to book here)
September 22, 2023 (Brooklyn, NY): Beginning today, the captivating, transportive immersive installations by the late artist Bobby Anspach will be on view and open to the public in a special memorial exhibition taking place in his former studio in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Titled Place for Continuous Eye Contact, the exhibition features four of his machines, which viewers enter into for a fully immersive experience of consciousness and connectedness, akin to the journey of meditation or psychedelics.
Anspach’s work was critically acclaimed in his lifetime before he tragically passed away at the age of 34 last year; this exhibition provides a rare opportunity to experience these immersive works in person in a celebration of his life, practice, and genius. As much a sculptor as a magician and scientist inspired by the tenants of Buddhism and the practice of meditation, Anspach’s machines are currently undergoing a patenting process. Employing a DIY-technique through all of his work, Anspach was focused on creating brilliant, unexpected, and sublime experiences out of ordinary materials and craft store supply stores, aiming to inspire viewers to look within and discover the beauty of the everyday and the natural world. His practice was informed by a deep respect for the environment, psychedelics, Buddhism, and meditation, and founded on a belief of the interconnectedness of all things. He aimed to share this experience with all viewers of his work, and inspire a more widespread adoption of the practice of mediation.
As curator Elizabeth Ferrer describes his machines, they are: “intricate but chaotic-looking structures suspended from metal scaffolds and covered with thousands of glowing LED lights. These structures actually involve a wild mashup of high and low, technology and DIY craftiness. Bobby had covered their interiors with thousands of colorful pom-poms that he purchased in mass quantities. On the ground, was an air mattress covered with a kitschy fleece blanket, often, emblazoned with the image of a tiger. The participant was to enter the dome, recline on the mattress, and is then to be fitted with headphones and an eye patch. A guide instructs the participant to gaze continuously at a mirror ringed with pom-poms and positioned a few inches above their eye. Within moments, the spatial planes one normally perceives dissolve into a cohesive field, giving way to a sense of disembodiment, and to an otherworldly calm.”
Place for Continuous Eye Contact will be on view from September 22 through October 15, 2023, with a series of lectures and events with collaborators, colleagues, friends, and fans of Anspach’s work. The exhibition will be open to the public by appointment on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday during the run of the exhibition, with 30 minute time slots available to 4 visitors at a time to allow viewers to experience each of the four immersive works on view (each experience running between 3-5 minutes). A link to book appointments is available here.
In the coming weeks, additional information will be available on the works themselves and accompanying programming.
62 18th Street
Brooklyn NY 11215
About Bobby Anspach
Bobby Anspach was an American artist whose work centered around the creations of machines designed to deliver transcendent experiences to viewers, all part of a series titled Place for Continuous Eye Contact. As much a sculptor as a magician and scientist, these devices are currently undergoing a patenting process. Employing a DIY-technique through all of his work, Anspach was focused on creating brilliant, unexpected, and sublime experiences out of ordinary materials and craft store supply stores, aiming to inspire viewers to look within and discover the beauty of the everyday and the natural world. His practice was informed by a deep respect for the environment, psychedelics, and meditation, and founded on a belief of the interconnectedness of all things that he aimed to share an experience of with all viewers of his work.
During his lifetime, Anspach’s work was celebrated and exhibited across the United States, most notably at Spring/Break Art Show, New York, 2018 and 2020 and the BRIC Biennial: Volume III. Brooklyn, NY, 2019, as well as in numerous gallery exhibitions across Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and California. In the public sphere, he presented his machines and made them available for visitor experiences at a pop-up space in Beacon, NY, 2021; in a Walmart parking lot in Newburgh, NY, 2022; and on Fifth Avenue outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2022.
Bobby Anspach was born in 1987 in Toledo, OH, and died in 2022 in Beacon, NY. He received his BA from Boston College in 2011, studied at California College of the Arts in San Francisco, and received an MFA in sculpture from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2017. There, he produced the earliest versions of Place for Continuous Eye Contact series of machines.