Chassis is Lea Cetera’s first kinetic sculpture. The title references both a car’s frame and a derogatory colloquialism that sexually objectifies the female body. Cetera built a gyroscopic instrument that spins a hollow, clear-resin female acupuncture model (also made by a rotational casting machine) filled with two colored liquids of different densities. The motor’s revolving force starts and stops, and when it spins, the red and blue fluids—“correspond[ing] to oxygenated and unoxygenated blood”—swirl and emulsify to produce a third color, purple, associated with magic, power, and peace. Cetera’s apparatus represents chaos, its dueling colors symbolizing binary forces in opposition. The artist compares her visualization to the internalized struggle women face as they combat double standards and the criminalization of their bodies.
Top image: Lea Cetera, Chassis, 2021. Courtesy of the artist and Southard Reid, London. Photo: Jason Mandella