Becca Cerra is an interdisciplinary artist working at the intersection of visual and performing arts. She combines aspects of sculpture with that of contemporary dance and partner acrobatics to create a hybrid art form.
Conceptual Art Statement, 2018
Unrealistic beauty standards, misconceptions about mental health, and disability stigmas are pervasive, sneaking into nearly every form of media we consume. My art is a necessary respite from these messages, showing beauty in unexpected and unconventional ways. My artistic practice is a catalyst for a body-positive revolution in which all bodies and minds are revered for their unique beauty.
I work at the intersection of visual and performing arts, often combining elements of sculpture with contemporary dance and partner acrobatics to create a unique, hybrid art form. I use steel for my sculptures because of the way its rigidity and coldness contrasts against the softness, fragility, and impermanence of the human body. I also work with metal because of the physicality it demands. I have to use my entire body in the process. Thus, the work becomes both of and for the body.
I first began this method of working while preparing for my senior thesis exhibition, “A Humble Reliance,” for which I had fabricated two steel structures that I performed dance and acrobatics on and around. Five weeks before the exhibition, I found myself on crutches, my ankle unable to bear weight. This injury revolutionized my art practice. I took this setback as an opportunity to strengthen my work by creating a wearable steel sculpture that immobilized my ankle and protected it from further damage. This steel ankle brace, in the same visual language as the steel apparatuses, tied the work together and propelled me on a new path.
Since then, I have transitioned from making sculptures for and about my own body to now incorporating other other people’s bodies and stories. My most recent project “Altered Aesthetics” shows beauty within disabled bodies and before that “Restriction, Perfection” explored body image through a sculpture and dance performance. My next work, Hallucinations: Physical Forms, Mental Distortions will again combine sculpture and dance, this time to represent living with mental illnesses.