Katalin Ladik The Yellow Bolero, 1978

The literary and artistic activity of Katalin Ladik shows a strong feminist component dealing with issues such as eroticism, bisexuality, patriarchal society and spirituality, and her inspirations range from pagan legends to Christian stereotypes, folklore, Surrealist or Dada principles. She was associated with the Yugoslav avant-garde of the seventies where the socialist authorities granted artists a far greater degree of freedom than in other Eastern Bloc countries, a situation that allowed for a more extensive radicalisation of artistic practices. She was part of the Bosch + Bosch group, who were inGuenced by the historic avant-gardes and the neo-avant-garde of the Fkies and sixties, and worked in the Hungarian border city of Subotica from 1969 to 1976. The group, which included artists such as Slavko Matkovic, Bálint Szombathy, Lázlo Szalma, Lázlo Kerekes and Ante Vukov, used various means of artistic expression in both an eclectic and auto-reGexive way, including body art, performance, mail art, land art and conceptual art. The work of the Bosch + Bosch group was also inGuential in the exchange of information on modern Western art in the hermetic Social Realist societies of Easter Europe. At the beginning of the seventies, Ladik made a series of visual poems in which she used the collage technique, oken over sheet music. Made with newspaper and women’s magazine clippings, sewing patterns and postage stamps, in these works she experimented at a visual, semantic and musical level, though the pictorial aspect oken took precedence over verbal coherence or the musical aspect. The works, conceived as both artistic and literary pieces, were also used as the music score for her performance of sound poetry. In these works traditional feminine themes such as sewing and knitting predominate, exploiting the ambiguity of suggestion and exploring the interconnections between poetry, painting and music.

MACBA Collection. Consortium of the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona. © Katalin Ladik, 2009.

Katalin Ladik (Novi Sad, Yugoslavia, 1942) received a bilingual education, in Hungarian and Serbian, languages she writes with equal fluency. She lived in Yugoslavia until the late eighties when she established herself in Budapest. She has distinguished herself in her work as a film and theatre actress and in her literary creations, especially in visual and sound poetry, which she plays out on stage, often in dialogue with the public, as well as in the creation and interpretation of experimental sound.


Time as Matter MACBA Collection. New Acquisitions 15 May– 31 August 2009 www.macba.cat