OPEN WOUND (from LONE DUETS)
20 min performance with 750ml of the performer's blood, x2 microphones, metal bowl, cotton bandage, plastic dental speculum, and metal vaginal speculum.
The image I am confronted with, for there is no other word, is intense and takes my breath in...
Julie Vulcan, on Open Wound
Open Wound is Richard Hancock’s visceral exploration of the limits of his own physical body, and the wider cultural bodies in which it ebbs and flows. In the performance, the audience are invited to re-assess the narrative of the body. Presented with both an ambiguous beginning and an impossible ending, the audience undertake a sonic excavation, mapping both need and desire.
The audience enter the space to the amplified sound of 750ml of Hancock's blood dripping from the ceiling into a metal bowl. Once this is complete, two lapel microphones are inserted into the artist's mouth and anus, and the room is plunged into darkness; the internal sounds of the body are relayed and rotated around the auditorium. As the lights return, Hancock binds his head in a roll of bandage soaked in his own blood.
Between 2005 and 2008, Richard Hancock and Traci Kelly developed Lone Duets – a game of ‘performance chess’, a viral investigation into the form and nature of collaboration. Employing contamination and infection as dramaturgical devices, Hancock and Kelly cultivated a series of 6 solo performances, each made in response to the work of the other, each grappling for the space between.
The resulting works are a series of visceral, intimate, and queer events, both moving and spectacular: Richard Hancock Dermographia (2005), Traci Kelly In Season (2006), Richard Hancock Postures A-to-M (2006), Traci Kelly The Mirror Pool (2007), Richard Hancock Open Wound (2007), Traci Kelly Rupture (2008).
Lone Duets was presented for the first time in its entirety as part of a New Moves International commission for the National Review of Live Art (UK), in 2009.
National Review of Live Art, Glasgow, UK (2009)
Performance Space, Sydney, AU (2007)
Photo credits: Heidrun Löhr