Lithographed text and illustration from "Explodity"
Nikolai Ivanovich Kulbin ( Russian, 1868 - 1917 )
Disrupting conventional orders of perception, the words here move erratically across the page. These two pages are from the second edition of Explodity, an early Russian Futurist book whose title suggests an explosion or bomb. When the book was bound, the text’s disorderly, non-linear appearance was emphasized as the pages were stapled together at various angles to look off center.
Explodity is the result of a collaboration between the poet Aleksei Kruchenykh and the painters Natalia Goncharova, Nikolai Kulbin, Kazimir Malevich, and Olga Rozanova. These pages by Kulbin reveal the interplay between zaum, sound poetry created by Kruchenykh composed of invented or distorted words of indeterminate meaning, and visual imagery that hovers on the edge of representation. Futurism developed in Russia around the turn of the 19th century in both literary and visual arts. The partnership between artist and writer was a crucial element in the production of Futurist books.
Nicole Myers, DMA label copy, 2018.