For the third Speaking Volumes event, on April 21, we invited the audience to joined us for an evening of commonplacing. The event took place at the amazing Glasgow Women’s Library space during our exhibition Speaking Volumes.
This event was part of Speaking Volumes. A collaborative project by Glasgow Women’s Library and My Bookcase for the world-renowned biennial festival of contemporary art Glasgow International Festival of Visual Arts (GI). For the 2016 edition of GI (8th to 25th April), My Bookcase and Glasgow Women’s Library teamed up to create a space where reflection on the influential role of women in art is activated through the object of the book.
The practice of commonplacing became significant in Early Modern Europe as a way to compile knowledge, usually by writing information into books. As such, commonplacing techniques have their origins in antiquity: in the idea of loci communes – which freely translates into ‘gathering what can be shared’. In the most general sense, a commonplace book contains a collection of significant or well-known passages that have been copied and organized in some way.
During this event, we invited the audience to help us write a contemporary Common Place book on the occasion of Speaking Volumes. Members of the public brought along to the library a book by a woman writer that had been relevant to their your life and practice with a selected excerpt to be shared with us. This could be a short paragraph or a short chapter which will was then captured in the Common Place Book, discovering and foregrounding the women that have been of relevance to our community.