Case Study: Ro Hardaker

Ro Hardaker (she/they) is an artist currently based in Leeds (UK). Her performance based practice attends to and is slick with prophecy. 

Inherently collaborative, Ro works at the blur between discursive, visual and embodied practices; organising with the intention of bringing together a community of queer, trans and non-binary people across performance, noise and contact sports disciplines. Her works emerge as live assemblages entangling the legacies of the body as both subject and object. By redeploying both competitive and collaborative strategies, she produces instances in which language, intimacy and violence are extracted then redistributed as intense affective encounters.

Through her work, Ro addresses the manners in which specific technological, social and material conditions shape, restrict and organise access. Access, in this context, refers both to the ability to enter into and as an outburst of emotion. Hardaker presents nuanced and complex resources for how to bring about haptic care, create new models of inclusivity and provide robust support foundations against increasingly inimical environments. 

Hardaker has exhibited and performed work at institutions, venues and festivals internationally, including The Tetley (UK), SPILL Festival of Performance 2014 and 2015 (UK), The Leeds Playhouse (UK), Tate Modern (UK), Queer City Cinema and Performatorium (CA), Uppsala Konst Museum (SE), PAGE: Assembly (FR), Yonder Gallery (UK) and ] Performance s p a c e [ (UK).

Since 2019, Hardaker has been working with professional wrestlers and training in other combat sport disciplines to examine the choreography and mechanisms of violence which trans people are exposed to and alienated by. Along with Leeds based Artist and Wrestler Hannah Lawless, she runs Leeds Queer Wrestling in her East Street Arts temporary studio in Leeds city centre.

Instagram: @ger.hl


Photo Credits:

1. 2021 | Website and Live Performance | Supported by Axis Web Digital Bursary and CLAY (The Centre for Live Art Yorkshire) | Photos by Matt Rogers

2. Leeds Queer Wrestling | 2021 | In photo Hannah, Vee and Ro | photo by Seren Oakley

3. Forgive Yourself of Contemporary Rationality | 2021 | Living Document, 8 scanned A4 pages | Edit of The Junius Pamphlet by Rosa Luxemborg, 1916 | Ro Hardaker with additions by Alicia Radage

4. Headshot photo by Matt Rogers

Other things!