essay about authorbibliographyartist's influences
25. October 1942
Ex Yugoslavia

Katalin Ladik was born in 1942 in Novi Sad (Vojvodina, Serbia).

She is a poet, performance artist and actress, also engaged in visual arts. Her career in sound poetry and action art has unfolded in parallel with her literary activity; her artistic pursuits involve the genres of audio play, experimental music, experimental theatre, visual poetry and mail art. She joined the Bosch+Bosch Group in 1973, upon Szombathy’s invitation.

She started as a bank clerk before she became a member of the Hungarian drama division of Radio Novi Sad. In 1973 she joined the company of the newly founded Novi Sad Theatre. Her literary career began in 1962 with the avant-garde Symposion circle, comprising the future founders of the journal Új Symposion.

Her first volume was published in 1969 under the title Ballad of the Silver Bicycle, with a gramophone record supplement. Her record Phonopoetica was published in 1976 in Belgrade, featuring vocal interpretations of visual poems by experimental poets. As a singer, she has collaborated with many outstanding representatives of experimental music, such as Ernő Király of Novi Sad, composer of folkloristic experimental music, or the Acezantez band (Dubravko Detoni, Milko Kelemen) of Zagreb, internationally acclaimed in the field of electroacoustic avant-garde, as well as Dušan Radić of Belgrade and Boris Kovač of Novi Sad.

Her poetry combines mythology, folklore symbolism and folk poetry with modern lifestyle, technology and eroticism. Her compositional technique and tonality are closely related to Surrealism.

Ladik's records reveal her unique vocal skills: her scale ranges from high-pitched overtones to bass. Electroacoustic effects are secondary to her music, as she predominantly works with the perspectives of the human voice, which includes screaming, growling, chirping, intonation as well as an extremely hushed whisper.

The majority of her live events are in between performance art and theatre. She presents her sound poetry accompanied by body art action, vocal and gesticular improvisation. She leaves considerable room for chance, new ideas, and she builds on audience involvement (happening); the evocation of rituals and collective myths has an emphasized role in some of her performances.