The WILD PANSY PRESS

© 2009 - 2015 WPP.



The Wild Pansy Press

Wild Pansy is one literal translation of the French Pensee Sauvage, a term coined by anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss in his 1962 book of the same name. The correct translation is “Savage Thought”. This mode of thinking, Lévi-Strauss argues, continually gathers and applies structures wherever they can be used. If scientific thought is represented by the engineer who asks a question and tries to design an optimal or complete solution, savage thought is represented by the bricoleur, who constructs using whatever materials are at hand.

Editors: Simon Lewandowski and Chris Taylor

The Wild Pansy Press is based in the School of Fine Art, History of Art & Cultural Studies at the University of Leeds.

The Wild Pansy Press is a collective art practice and small publishing house, based in the School of Fine Art at Leeds University which has built up a considerable catalogue of books and projects, often linking a publication to an exhibition in ways which extend and confound the usual notions of a catalogue. WPP is actively developing partnerships with other groups to build a network of practitioners who explore and advance publication (in its widest sense) as both a distributional strategy and medium of practice.

WPP was set up in 1995 by Chris Taylor and Adrian Rifkin; Adrian has moved on to, among other things, run the M.A. in Art Writing at Goldsmith’s, but Chris was joined in 2008 by artist and Leeds colleague Simon Lewandowski.

Since 2010 we have been running the Wild Pansy Press Project Space as a public venue for experimental works which use the practices of reading, writing and publication as their medium and/or content. While shows are on The Wild Pansy Press Project Space is open to the public from 10.00-6.00 Monday-Thursday, 10.00-4.00 Friday and is sited in the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies of the University Of Leeds, in the Old Mining Building, on Woodhouse Lane, Leeds LS2 9JT

In 2011 we created the Portable Reading Room - a mobile bookshop, gallery and project space.
It is a flat-pack, easy-assembly enclosed structure incorporating seating, a layout area where books can be displayed and examined, storage space and, on the exterior surfaces, an area for displaying artwork, a notice board and signage. As well as being a site for activities the Portable reading Room is a social sculpture in its own right, centered on the activity of reading and the book as an expressive medium. Readers are encouraged to interact with one another in an unfamiliar but welcoming space and, in a sense, “put themselves into” the imprint.

These activities reflect our move to a more proactive and creative role - initiating new, experimental publications and participating in exhibitions and other projects as an independent creative entity.

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