The Visit (Ayrlies, Whitford, 19 June 2007). 2008

A Commonplace Book. ATTRIUM project

ATTRIUM is a research collective/ project that comprises of eight researchers, four from AUT University, NZ and four from the 'Art, Time and Space' Research Cluster in the School of Art, RMIT University, Australia. The title of the project, Attrium (an anagram of the RMIT and AUT names) promotes the sense of a gathering space an open-ended and negotiable research site.


New Zealand:  Ron Left, Nova Paul, Monique Redmond, Jonty Valentine

Australia:  Greg Creek, Sally Mannall, David Thomas, Martine Corompt



FROM: P_ the site of publication in contemporary practice - Fiona Grieve & Monique Redmond, 2009

The artist publication A Commonplace Book was the 'first event' for the ATTRIUM project. Jonty Valentine in talking about the proposed design concept for the publication states, "that the conceptual framework for our exploration of the idea of publication will be prompted, as a starting point at least, by a re-examination of the concept of the Commonplace Book
(i)". The form of A Commonplace Book is treated as an everyday item, referential here to the Collins Diary.

The book itself contained no text outside of the imprint and back cover artist text. The first page of each artist's section has 01-08 on the bottom right corner, which refers to the Index that is embossed in gold on the back cover. A Commonplace Book does not follow the usual form of a book. Whilst it is representative of a 'book' form the pages are compiled as a series of folded posters (A1-A4/A5), bound with two edges trimmed. The top edge (perforated fold) has to be ripped open by the viewer. The performative nature of having to 'rip open' the poster-pages of each artist section was, in part, a means to engage in a new form of exhibition space as well as a take on the artistic concept for the project, 'event'.

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Monique Redmond's The Visit (ii) documents a visit to Ayrlies in Whitford on 19 June 2007, a 12-acre country garden begun in 1964. The work itself is a documentary of a morning outing. Monique was interested in the idea that both the book form and poster could offer an encapsulated experience, a documentary of, a re-enactment of the event - and that by viewing the pages the visit would be translated within a section of time. The book pages adhere to being read in book form, versus the poster. The first images are moving documentaries, a series of driveby photos that record the glance, the moment of noticing. They track the journey to and from the garden site. The black and white images are an archive of every image taken on the visit.

Monique photographed walking, noting everything she saw. "I wanted to create an index of my wanderings." (Grieve and Redmond (2009) Time recordings are listed under each image to set up a sense of actuality and recall to the event. The colour images are richer; they formalise the experience objectifying the view, the object and the site, and are in a sense more idyllic in nature. A Commonplace Book enables a different type of collaboration to occur. Here the environment of the book positions the artist and designer in a collaborative tryst, the publication a product of this interaction.


[i]  The idea of commonplace books dates back to antiquity. Originally a memory aid, orators would 'go' to metaphorical 'places' to gather their arguments. As the places took physical form and became literal places (i.e. books), commonplace books became the precursor to modern reference books. They were often personal collections of things that their owners found to be important, but ranged from random collections to thoroughly researched scholarly volumes. (Valentine and Redmond 2007)
ii]  05 Monique Redmond. "The Visit" - the idea of a visit as an event, where you go somewhere just to look at something. An outing.


A Commonplace Book is part of the ATTRIUM project, 2006-2008 >see here




Jonty Valentine, Journeyman Designer  >>>

Project Space, RMIT University  >>>

⌘P_ the site of publication in contemporary practice (article): Fiona Grieve & Monique Redmond.  SCOPE . Contemporary Research Topics. art & design: 4  >>>