UNION (Part V: Pathology of Dust) | Collaboration with Paul Samuel White
Performance-for-Camera, and accompanying short texts
Online media comprised of five performance-for-camera images, and accompanying short texts.
UNION explores ideas of physical and emotional labour, collaboration, and value. The project consists of five parts – encompassing print, live performance, and online media.
The central materials of the work are the bodies of the artists, and coal. As a material, coal has been used – literally and figuratively – to both build and destroy systems of power and wealth, communities and bodies. Coal is bound with contradictions. As a carbon entity, it can be ignited to generate heat and electrical power – sustaining and enriching life – while simultaneously contributing to the irrevocable chaos of climate change. It is alchemical – transforming through heat into gold – it has been mined and used to line the pockets of industrialists and governments, while becoming an emblem of working class failure. Thriving towns and physical communities have been constructed around the industries which mined and processed coal, only to be left decimated by their collapse. Bodies, built and fed on mining, slowly asphyxiate on its wages of dust. Drawing on these ideas and concerns, and their own family histories as coal miners and industrial workers, Richard Hancock and Traci Kelly undertake a labour of images – a series of physical and emotional tasks mined from a poetic exploration of the body and a cellular reaction to all that burns.
Part V: Pathology of Dust is a series of images made by Richard Hancock and Traci Kelly in collaboration with the photographer, Paul Samuel White. The actions were performed solely for camera after the live performance of Part III: A Labour of Images, in the space directly above the performance location . Capturing hancock & kelly still marked by the work, they are attached by the throats with remnants from the performance. Their two bodies mirror a pair of lungs, straining for air, as they struggle to take one another's weight across the space. The images are accompanied by short quasi-scientific/poetic texts, meditating on the pieces that precede it in the series.
Online at hancockandkelly.com, as part of a commission for WAKE Festival, ]performance s p a c e [, UK (2017)
Photo credits: Paul Samuel White