Raison D’etre

“I have thought a great deal about who I am, how I came to exist, and why anything exists at all and this line of introspective inquiry often leads me to the question of what my purpose for being is. The more thought I put into what my reason is the less sure I am in all other aspects but the more clearly my purpose of trying to find out is laid bare and in turn, desperate my search becomes, but through this struggle, I continually evolve sharper tools to understand myself and the world around me. Thus I believe that my raison d'être is to assist in the formation of a new level of consciousness within the minds of individuals and within the zeitgeist of our society through the tools of introspection and imagination. It is because of my “raison d'être” that I came to the concept of using “raison d'être” as the theme for an exhibition. My curiosity for better understanding the inner machinations of myself and other artists, as well as giving a space to allow others to better reflect on their own reason or purpose gives me a great deal of joy and excitement. I hope that this exhibition works as a catalyst to open up new ideas within your mind and to question your place in the universe and your place within the center of yourself.”

-Patrick Brennan

Curated by Patrick Brennan, Samantha Joyce, Kayla Scullin

Randy Aguilar | instagram | website
Patrick Brennan | instagram | website
Jon Feng | website
Carlene McGoldrick | instagram | website
Janella Mele | instagram | website
Yolanda Yang | instagram | website

Hypothetical Deity II, 2021
Oil on canvas
16 x 20 in
Patrick Brennan

An exploration into the view that a hypothetical consciousness from a higher plane of thought would see looking down on the interactions of human consciousnesses from above. It draws from the aesthetic library of micro-organic life to symbolize the inferiority of the lower form of consciousness that beings in our plane of existence experience in comparison to this greater being observing them. This piece also aims to show the importance of understanding our consciousness as symbiotic, interconnected and needing each other to exist as mental beings, for without our interactions (through culture, speech, and communication in general) consciousness never would have arisen within the human mind despite its great inherent complexity. (in relation to the Bicameral mentality of early humankind as discussed by Julian Jaynes in the book “The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind”)

early_digital · 2019-2021 compilation - song ideas and sound scapes

I create music to really get what I am feeling out into a space. It’s my own little play-space, most of these are just ideas of songs in there first few drafts. These were created and collected over the course of 2019-2021. Mostly after the initial spike of the pandemic.
Randy Aguilar

Eugeniu Iordăchescu, 2019
Charcoal on paper
25 x 19 in
Jon Feng

I made the drawing after reading Iordăchescu's obituary in the news. He was a Romanian engineer who saved churches and other buildings set to be destroyed by the Romanian dictator in the 1980s by moving them on tracks. He wasn't religious, nor did he have any experience relocating buildings. He was driven to act because he wanted to save beautiful things from destruction. The breakthrough came when he saw a waiter carrying glasses with a tray, so he engineered a way to secure buildings with something akin to a giant tray. The obituary painted this angelic figure who saved vessels from which others derived meaning via his love of beautiful things, inspired by the mundane, so it was all very moving.

the most important thing, 2020
Acrylic and oil on cardboard
20 x 15 in
Jon Feng

Way of Standing by the Edge, 2022
Wood, telephone wire, paint
12 x 4 x 7 in
Yolanda Yang

Exploring the unknown world while leashing myself under control is my process of finding the reason for being. I spend most of my time understanding this world by stepping out of my comfortable zone. Being unsettled becomes the fountain that ignites my inspiration and longings for life. Way of Standing by the Edge is an attempt to peek over my horizon, an effort to adapt ever-changing landscape of emotions, an action to maneuver myself to searching for meanings as an earthling. Going on this journey becomes my reason for being.

Nanas Flowers, 2017
Mixed media on foam core
24 x 24 in
Janella Mele

When i___, 2017-2020
Janella Mele

I built three playable levels of my consciousness through the software Unity and used the video editing process as a way to navigate resolution through personal traumas. This practice of making and repurposing has become key to my survival as an artist.