The work of hancock & kelly live is an aesthetic tour-de-forces that transforms the repulsive into the beautiful.
Jennie Klein, Dance Theatre Journal
hancock & kelly is the collaborative project of artists Richard Hancock and Traci Kelly. Since 2001, they have collaborated on a series of works questioning and provoking the gaps between subjects.
Through an internationally acclaimed body of work spanning performance, choreography, video, photography, installation, and text, they have continually asked questions of where the limits of the body may be drawn, and separated from the knowledge and questions with which they are enmeshed.
Issues of materiality, value, and embodied knowledge have been pivotal to the complex critical and aesthetic dialogues they undertake. Their practice moves fluidly between 'live' and 'object-based' work, and the resulting pieces have been a series of visceral and queer encounters, both moving and spectacular.
hancock & kelly have performed and exhibited at venues and events such as the 6th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, Russia (2015), the National Review of Live Art, UK (2005, 2007, 2009), the SPILL festival, UK (2007), Performance Space, Australia (2007), Museu de Évora, Portugal (2009), and Künstlerhaus Mousonturm, Germany (2010).
Working with diverse forms of image-making, including movement, photography, video, and text, Richard Hancock performs embodied investigations and gestural interventions into disciplines of philosophy, politics, and pedagogy.
His current methodological interests are in the performance of expanded forms of publication, and the role of photography in the development of live body-based works.
Alongside his solo practice and his work with Traci Kelly, other ongoing collaborations include RESIDENT ALIENS – an exploration of queer family and portraiture, with Liz Rosenfeld – and his photographic contributions to the work of Isaiah Lopaz's project Things You Can Tell Just By Looking At Him – documenting the racial slurs and micro-aggressions experienced by Lopaz while living in Berlin.
Traci Kelly's practice slips and knots between performance, visual and textual languages. Her poetic and visceral imagery opens up a space for doubt and the questions the status of the body. The spacings between touch and untouch in performance exchanges are utilised to consider subject invention. Current activity revolves around skin as a site of encounter and writing.
Kelly has a doctorate from the University of Reading gained with a project investigating intersubjectivity and collaboration in live art practice. 2014 saw the publication of her book Feeling It For You Perspective with Seers in Residence, an innovative model for a decentralised approach to research dynamics, published by Nottingham Trent University.
With hancock & kelly, and also solo, Kelly presents work internationally and has performed and exhibited in Europe, Australia, Asia, Africa and the Americas.