Dates: September 5, 2024 – September 10, 2024

Location: 195 Chrystie Street, NYC 10002
Hours: Monday – Friday, 10 am – 6 pm, Saturday 12-5 pm & Sunday by appointment
Contact: | 917.292.6921

Voltz Clarke Gallery is pleased to present Phenomena/Noumena, a solo show, by Paul Costello.

Paul Costello

Artist Paul Costello’s project Phenomena/Noumena specifically uses photography to challenge what is perception, what is reality, and what is spiritual. “I am interested in the exploration of light and time that reveals both wonder, uneasiness, and unexpected narratives.” To the 18th-Century philosopher Kant, phenomena are things as they appear in our sensory experience. It’s the world we experience via our perception. On the other hand, noumena are things as they are independent of our sensory experience, and they are not directly accessible through our senses or understanding. Noumena exists beyond the realm of human perception. It is unknowable but real.

Following the success of the Phenomena/Noumena exhibit at artist Dawn Dedeaux’s Camp Abundance in New Orleans, the show will open in New York at Voltz Clarke Gallery on September 4th, for a limited run. These images are intended to be symbolic and ethereal. The protagonist is light, and the antagonist is time. The dimensions of the cube are built on the principles of sacred geometry, thus the cube inherently carries with it a spiritual overtone. The narrative is created through the juxtaposition of this spiritual form and its tenuous placement within geological formations and abandoned landscapes. This creates a kind of portal that is intended to emotionally draw you in but emits something deeper and challenges our concept of reality.

Paul Costello set out to challenge himself both technically and conceptually as shooting in the dark is a seriously complicated gambit. It boils down to the ratio between the available light and the amount of light that the cube can emit. There are only 10 to 15 minutes each day when the ratio of light is right, so only one picture can be attempted each day. On a conceptual level, Costello endeavored to experiment with a subject that is not entirely tangible, reduced to its essence, where everything is stripped away except shape and light. In the end, our understanding of the world around us remains elusive whether approached through the lens of science, art, spirituality, or philosophy. Embracing the unknown becomes a profound acknowledgment that, in the face of light and time, we are continually confronted with the mystery of existence.

Paul Costello graduated from New York University with a degree in Photography in 1993. He moved to New Orleans, Louisiana in 2010 where he currently lives and works. Phenomena/Noumena will be his first exhibition with Voltz Clarke Gallery.