William Brui

(1946 - )


Dr. Grabov

Ex Adverso

Paris: Galerie Ratie, 1976

275 x 245 mm. 30 pages. 

Edition: 100. Copy no. 49







Ex adverso was conceived as an ‘anti-book’.   Handmade in 9 copies by William Brui in Leningrad between 1967 and 1969, it is an example of the Leningrad esthetical samizdat book, provocative in imagery. The black geometrical forms of the etchings are inspired by Malevich. In addition to these black and white etchings set in black borders there was a text in 3 parts set in red borders. Both the images and the text, written by a certain Dr. Grabov, stressed his intention of publishing an anti-book. The text opens with an exclamatory and significant: ‘On the Contrary’. In December 1976 a facsimile edition (with a French translation of the text) was published  in Paris. For Brui this book is the ultimate development of the tradition set in motion by the Russian futurists. They broke with tradition by combining illustrations and text as equals. The logical next step was the introduction of space and motion, such as in Lissitzky's About two squares which eliminates a realistic visual world. Brui abolishes beginning and end as well as the actual reading of the book. The text specifically states that the book is not meant for reading. In the bilingual facsimile the end of the book in one language is the beginning of another, thus creating a perpetual book.



Brussels 2005, nr. 147.