Monday, 28 March 2011


Wild Pansy Press Project Space
4 May - 19 May 2011 (Mon-Thurs 10-6, Fri 10-4)
Old Mining Building, University of Leeds, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds LS2 9JT

‘If I hammer, if I recall in, and keep calling in, the breath, the breathing as distinguished from the hearing, it is for cause, it is to insist upon a part that breath plays in verse which has not (due, I think, to the smothering of the power of the line by too set a concept of foot) has not been sufficiently observed or practiced, but which has to be if verse is to advance to its proper force and place in the day, now, and ahead. I take it that PROJECTIVE VERSE teaches, is, this lesson, that that verse will only do in which a poet manages to register both the acquisitions of his ear and the pressure of his breath.’ Extract, Projective Verse, 1950.

Charles Olson’s Projective Verse invites writing to be considered spatially, as OPEN, or as FIELD (of) composition in three dimensions. His proposition is one of text as space of action, of breath as punctuation, and of the bodily pressures of writing in which ‘form is never more than an extension of content’.

WRITING (the) SPACE presses down on and around this unique poetics of writing in contemporary performance related practice - in particular, the possibilities of performance writing in spatial and physical terms. WRITING (the) SPACE is conceived as a period of action research within the Wild Pansy Press Project Space.

For WRITING (the) SPACE, Rachel Lois Clapham and Emma Cocker present a new iteration of their ongoing collaborative project Re –, which essays the relationship between performance/document, live/recording, writing/written through the collision of spoken, textual and gestural languages. This iteration of the project addresses the emergent grammar of Re-, exploring the spatial and physical possibilities of writing. Extracted fragments from earlier conversations rub against mute utterances of a finger diagramming, nails pink; a spoken text of dislocated phrases; partial scores awaiting activation; punctuation, the space of breath. Re
– (WRITING (the) SPACE) is open to the public from 4 - 19 May, 10-6pm Mon-Thurs and 10-4 Fri).

WRITING (the) SPACE Event, 19 May 09.30am – 8pm

Drawing together the practices of diverse artists and writers, this day-long event attempts to further explore notions of physical and spatial writing, drawing on the installation Re – (WRITING (the) SPACE) and Olson’s notion of Projective Verse.

09.30-6pm: > OPEN > < OLSON > < OPEN <.
A laboratory exploring practice based examples of Olson’s OPEN text. Presenting: David Berridge, Rachel Lois Clapham, Emma Cocker, Victoria Gray, Claire Hind and Mary Paterson. Audience space is limited so booking is essential, please email

6-8pm : How is Art Writing?
Dinner, drink, conversation and live performance by Giles Bailey on the last day of the exhibition as part of the In a word…artists’ dinner series. All welcome but booking essential, click on
In a word... to book online.


WRITING (the) SPACE is developed by Rachel Lois Clapham (Open Dialogues) in partnership with New Work Yorkshire and supported by In a word…


In a word... is a research programme
profiling an ecology of radical writing practice in, around and from Yorkshire.

Open Dialogues is a UK collaboration, founded by Rachel Lois Clapham and Mary Paterson, that produces writing on and as performance.

New Work Yorkshire is a proactive, engaged and mutually supportive collection of individuals who aim to develop a vibrant and diverse New Work sector in Yorkshire.

Wild Pansy Press is an art collective, a small publishing outfit affiliated with Leeds University Fine Art and a public venue for experimental works which use the practices of reading, writing and publication as their medium and/or content.



1 The Company of Men" by Charles Olson, typewritten manuscript with handwritten notations, September 13, 1957, from the Charles Olson Research Collection.

2 Re- (Unfixed) Rachel Lois Clapham and Emma Cocker, 2010. Courtesy the artists.

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