is a contemporary art gallery/curatorial umbrella founded in 2022, with an office space (Annex/Cointelpro) in Chicago's Albany Park neighborhood, and a vitrine (Hole) in Chicago's Logan Square neighborhood. The gallery's program focuses around allowing artists opportunities to present ambitious and challenging work in a site-responsive and collaborative manner, alongside exhibition-specific ephemera.

Directed by Milo Christie and Sam Dybeck.

November 11th, 2023 - December 10th, 2023

Al Svoboda (*1991 Syracuse, NY) is an artist based in NYC. He received a BFA in sculpture from Syracuse University followed by two summers at Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart, Germany and is currently an MFA candidate at the School of Visual Arts in New York. Recent shows include a solo presentation at NADA NY with april april (Brooklyn, NY) and group shows at Alexander Gray Associates, Germantown, NY; 57W57 Arts, New York, NY; and Wieoftnoch, Karlsruhe, Germany.

Ben K. Voss (b. 1980, Sinking Spring) lives and works in New York. Selected solo and two-person exhibitions
include Community, Left Field, Los Ojos (2022); Rosetta, Gazebo, Brooklyn (2019); Paintings, 57W57 Arts, New
York (2018). Selected group exhibitions include Pliable Plane, Underdonk, Brooklyn (2022); Small Paintings,
57W57 Arts, New York (2022); Jump Shot, Tappeto Volante, Brooklyn (2022); Unreal, Tourist, White River
Junction (2021); Behind the Times, Chapter 5, Alyssa Davis Gallery, Online, (2020); Two to Tango Two, Sperling,
Munich (2019). Publications include Imprints, Chateau International, London (2020); New American Paintings,
NE Edition, 140 (2019); ArtMaze, Summer Edition 13 (2019).

Press Release
Gatefold Flier

I remember when the Royal Mint started the transition from paper note to Plastic. Apart from the obvious ironies of see-through Money, there was towards then something like an urban legend, where the corner of a fiver could replace the needle of a record player and capture the encoding of the grooves.


If you listened closely, or sandwiched it between your hands in prayer, you felt vibrations amplified through the membrane of the banknote. Michaux’s "Dessin mescalinien" from 1956/1957 are india ink drawings made under the influence of mescaline (as he experimented with while writing). The lines in the have this seismographic quality of capturing movement, frenetic, climactic movement, which in 'Vitesse et tempo' (1957)


He delineates the goal of: 'Je voulais dessiner la conscience d’exister et l’écoulement du temps. Comme on se tâte le pouls.', translating to 'I want to draw the awareness of existence/counsciousness in existence and the passage of time. Like feeling your pulse'. This references to pulses (thinking metronome and timekeeping) and recording some axis of time gives us an in to think about these drawings structurally as scores. 


In the previously referenced text he talks of a rhythm which was 'making everything different, unrecognizable, senseless, unleashed, making everything slip away, that one cannot follow, that one must follow, [...] where parallel lines and parallel objects, indefinitely repeated, and all the more so when one thinks of them, breaking the head of one who vainly wants to find himself in the general proliferation. ('Vitesse et tempo' 1957). 


To think of scores with these drawings is interesting because it preempts a usefulness for the viewer, either for their regurgitation in another form or for a path to be taken, which they have in common with maps. Handwriting contorts into scribbles and back and back again, existing on a spectrum from alphabet to the asemic. 


This brings up questions around the nature of interpretation when markmaking occupies the space in between direct communication and subconscious. Michaux is a psychonaut, and returns with findings from imaginary lands, maps and scores to follow. Can we interpret them? I always considered, before Meeting, whether Voss' work would be demystified as I got to know him. 


The sigils and language that I read into it populated some other realm that he was transmitting back from, reminding me heavily of the language made for Shaun Tan's 'The Arrival'. The new drawings are floor-bound and feel so much like maps that I trip on categorizing them as such, because I don't speak his language yet. 


Their energy is muffled and frenetic, with symbols and marks containing inbuilt obsession through their indivisibility and maybe even honesty. The onus of decryption for the viewer is still horribly futile, though. What are we even meant to do? We have no codex. We will just float and experience a fragment of another fictitious place, lightless, abandoned, at the behest of 


The cycle of the sun and the passing of time. Svoboda’s work, continuing from his NADA New York presentation earlier this year with April April where the shelf-as-sculpture idea debuted, splices together archival operation and the poetics of an empty container.  As they are sculptures in themselves as opposed to previously straddling an actual spectrum of use, and take on surface treatments that come from 


Svoboda’s painting background, the qualities of the dowels and pegboards make them somehow modular. Each individual part of the structures could theoretically be swapped, in a linguistic and probabilistic way. Are these shelves phrases, built up with Svoboda’s sculptural syntax? The archival bent is important in as much as it relates to Voss’ work and information transfer (or lack thereof). 


We might expect these shelves to contain something, but they are fundamentally in the state of having-contained, where the information has been pillaged. It is an odd staging of a fictitious event, to show shelves devoid of things. I find that the combination of the two flips the script on ‘correct placements’ of each media - floor drawings and wall sculptures -


And in this way bias their objecthood towards references that are more about use and misuse, but also teasing a narrative where that use is flipped on its head, rifled through, left to rot.  Ilya Kabakov’s  ‘School No. 6’, at the Chinati foundation in Marfa, TX, is a staged Soviet school that in its implied narrative is abandoned. 


Disordered classrooms house bookcases and desks replete with Russian notebooks and scattered mementos, telling an elliptical tale of another place and time. I think maybe this show in this space could have been a library of maps, a navigation room, pillaged of the very valuable knowledge it was meant to protect, with coded scraps and their containers still remaining.

Installation View
Installation View
Installation View
Installation View
Left: Al Svoboda, carrel, 2023. acrylic, wood, 24” x 7” x 6”
Left: Al Svoboda, descriptor, 2023. acrylic, wood, 24” x 14” x 7”
Right: Al Svoboda, browser, 2023. acrylic, wood, 24” x 7” x 4”
Installation View
Installation View
Installation View
Installation View
Al Svoboda, holdings, 2023. acrylic, wood. 24” x 7” x 4”
Installation View
Left: Al Svoboda, return, 2023. wood, string, 24” x 10” x 7”
Installation View
Installation View
Installation View
Installation View
Ben K. Voss, atlas 05, 2023. Pen on Newsprint, 30” x 35”
Ben K. Voss, atlas 02, 2023. Pen on Newsprint, 30” x 35”
Ben K. Voss, atlas 01, 2023. Pen on Newsprint, 30” x 35”
Ben K. Voss, atlas 08, 2023. Pen on Newsprint, 30” x 35”