Meeson Jessica Pae: Fluid Machines | Moll Brau: Sweet Dreams

244 West Florence Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90003
May 19, 6 PM - 9 PM — ends Jun 24, 2023
Meeson Jessica Pae’s solo exhibition with Rusha & Co., Fluid Machines, is the artist’s debut exhibition of painting. In pinks, blacks, shades of grays and veins of blues, Pae’s canvases are the works of a scientific designer of the interior. Abstracted forms bubble out the fluidal concert of inflows and outflows within the body’s inners/innards. Faceless, the works delve deep beyond the exterior of the body and into the cavities within, where new pathways to figuration emerge from a perspective on corporeality that is as informed by the understandings of anatomy from science-present (inherently and unobtrusively technological) to science-past (dissection).

Pae embraces the body of our times as that of the cyborg, rejecting rigid boundaries, including those which separate “human” from “animal” as well as “human” from “machine.” Abandoning stratification, the works exist within planes of formal consistency, allowing new relationships between biological understandings of the interior to emerge. Involved in a type of technoscientific world-building, Pae’s fusion of machine and organism reflects the modern synthesis between organic and synthetic remedies to bodily pathosis. Organs made of inanimate polymers, reconstituted living cells, and bioartificial parts are integrated into the the bodies of the ailed through surgeries invasive and non. In early “medicine”, the anatomical studies of Aristotle were a path for the philosopher’s search to understand the relationship between the soul and flesh. While contemporary formal sciences may have left that confluence behind, Pae’s phenomenology finds meaning, truth, and a breadth of emotional understandings hidden within her imaginings of a surreal human interior.

There is a rhythm of sensuality in these undulating, pulsating forms within Pae’s paintings. Juices and liquids must be the substances squirted and transposed by the tubes flowing from one work to another – are these emissions held within not just the flowing of love? Discoveries of the yonic and phallic whispers within Pae’s paintings are as crucial in understanding the works as they are in the dance of life itself. Indeed, the creation from within the navel is triggered by other organs of flesh—living things creating living things—the eternal magic of the universe, obscured and disregarded by modern gynecologies that fundamentally ignore the fantastical miracles of life on planet Earth. Pae shines a light on the organic intimacies contained and transferred within the body with an approach that rejects the clinical, and embraces the erotic.

Fluid Machines is an exhibition about desires of the body, desire within the body, and bodily desire in and of itself. If only our insides looked like this. If only Meeson Pae could rearrange our guts.

Meeson Jessica Pae is a multi-disciplinary artist from Indianapolis, Indiana whose practice spans painting, sculpture, installation, and digital artwork. She received a BFA from University of California, Los Angeles and her MFA from California State University, Long Beach. Recent exhibitions include Horizons, Sow and Tailor, Hong Kong (2023); Converge (00), MONO, Tunis (2022; solo); The Last Notice Show, Rusha & Co., Los Angeles (2022); Beautiful, Not Pretty, Wonzimer, Los Angeles (2022); and Transmute, The LOFT, San Pedro (2018, solo). Pae’s work has also been featured at the Exploratorium Museum in San Francisco, the Torrance Art Museum, the Japanese American Museum in Los Angeles, and Harvard University’s Carpenter Center in Cambridge.


At the edge of Moll Brau’s debut solo exhibition with Rusha & Co., Sweet Dreams, lies a bed of nails where Brau once laid to rest. The sculpture was the base of her performance in Austin, Texas, where Brau, the dreamer, attempted to gain a deeper sense of self through the process of spiritual alchemy, a spiritual science inherited from Our Father Adam and passed on through philosophers, wizards, and saints. On seven consecutive nights, she performed a series of tasks symbolic of the seven steps of the alchemical journey before retiring to a meditative state upon her bed of nails. Each night, Brau presented a visitation representative of each step of this transmutative process: Calcination, Dissolution, Separation, Conjunction, Fermentation, Distillation, and Coagulation.

Calcination: The burning of the prima materia into ash. The breaking of our attachments to the worldy. The burning flame that purifies is the dreadful Kali, Goddess of destruction. Fire sparks the journey into the self. This is the first step of change.

Dissolution: The ashes are dissolved into water. The dissident parts are diluted into a fluid condition. Energy channels are opened up. Cells are recharged. Adonis is rebuilt. The artificial structures of the psyche are immersed totally in the unconscious.

Separation: The products of dissolution are separated, filtered. Essence becomes distinct from matter. The fog of ignorance and obstinacy are dissipated in this manifestation. True natures emerge. Materials now appear which can be discarded. Others formalize which can be embraced.

Conjunction: Elements deemed worthy can be combined into a new substance. Re-integration occurs, of unconscious and conscious, of male and female principals, of the Sun and the Moon. A marriage of principals for the sake of balance.

Fermentation: Bacteria and other living organisms are introduced to the substance to continue its breakdown (and simultaneously cause rebirth). Here comes pregnancy and fecundation. Matter breaks down and decomposes - bodies are the fertilizer for the seed. Transmutation to new nature is the causal combination that bears new fruit. Primavera: the first spring.

Distillation: The process of boiling the elixirs to increase purity. The cleaning or the final purge. Bitter, sharp, and acrid things become sweet. No impurities remain. Attained is the environment for apotheosis.

Coagulation: Finally, the substance becomes crystalized into a solid state. A fluid state becomes a thickened mass. A meeting between matter and spirit, inner and outer, good and evil: the union of dualities. Born is self-awareness. This is rebirth which incarnates and releases the Ultima Materia of the soul, the Astral Body, solid light.

Moll Brau’s seven paintings in Sweet Dreams capture each of these steps – the canvases built up through acrylic, oil, volcanic rock, powdered Psilocybin, beef tallow, decaying flowers, Frankincense, gold, and even Brau’s own tears. In this sequential series of transformational self-portraiture, Brau’s awakenings and spiritual growth are channeled through the real and the imagined, documented and immortalized. The divine secrets of the alchemical process, the art of transformation, inner liberation, and change.

Moll Brau is a multi-disciplinary artist from Shreveport, Louisiana with practices in painting, video work, performance, and installation. She earned her BFA from Louisiana State University and is currently based in Austin, Texas. Recent exhibitions include Texan Artists, Rusha & Co., Los Angeles (2022); Stiltsville, Half Gallery, Miami Beach (2022); Howl, Inman Gallery, Houston, TX (2022); Hokey Pokey, Martha’s Contemporary, Austin, TX (2021, solo); and Autumn, Martha’s Contemporary, Austin, TX (2021).