The exhibition entitled “Zagreb I Love You!” will take place from 1st December 2012 to 15 January 2013 at Galerie Frank Elbaz, showcasing Tomislav Gotovac’s major works. This is the artist’s first European critical retrospective.
Gotovac was a multidisciplinary artist and a pioneer of former Yugoslavia’s happenings and performances. His career began in 1960 with photographic works such as Heads and in 1962, Showing Elle. That same year he shot his first experimental movie, Death. In 1964 he produced a major collage series. His personality and his abundant creative output influenced many artists and directors such as Marina Abramovic.
Through a wide spectrum of media, he always referred to the structures and language of cinema. He worked with quotes, image and music excerpts, often paying tribute to directors and musicians that inspired him – Godard, Dreyer, Hawks, Billie Holiday, among others.
The exhibition revolves around five major aspects of his work:
— Collages: Remnants from his day-to-day life in the form of a montage spanning his career.
— Films: As early as 1962, the artist directed films that fit in to the Structural film movement. In Straight Line (1964), one of his earliest filmed works, a single camera follows the rails from a tram.
— Body: Gotovac, with his impressive appearance, frequently used his body in his work. Similar to a living sculpture, he conveyed concepts through his own body, becoming simultaneously director, actor and subject.
— Krajiska 29: Following public, outside actions, he moved on to produce more introspective works in his own private space. After his parents passed away he began to occupy the apartment he inherited from them, gradually turning it into a giant installation.
— Archives: The artist mainly publicised his work through the newspapers. He valued the idea of publishing each performance and street action – every single piece of information relating to an art project – as much as the work itself.
The diversity of his artistic approach is based not only on observation, analysis and synthesis of creative processes, but also on social and political aspects that went on to influence his original productions throughout his life. Gotovac intended to provide experiences by working within a sharply defined contextual framework. He often went beyond self-imposed limits, in search of a liberation from the human condition.
The exhibition was produced in collaboration with the Tomislav Gotovac Institute, Zagreb. The screenings were made possible by the Croatian Film Association.
Born February 9th, 1937 in Sombor and died June 24th, 2010 in Zagreb.
Important Exhibitions: Edward Krasinski Studio, Warsaw (2012), 54ème Biennale de Venise, The Croatian presentation (2011); Moderna galerija, Ljubljana (2009) and group shows (The Freedom of Sound: John Cage behind the Iron Curtain - Ludwig Muzeum, Budapest; Naked Men from 1800 to the present - Leopold Museum, Vienna; The Naked Man - Lentos Kunstmusem, Linz; Ludwig Muzeum, Budapest; Zagreb kino klub; Performance, action & film - Centre Pompidou, Cinema 2, Paris; Yugoslav Experimental cinema - Anthology Film Archive, New York; Una sexta parte de la Tierra. Ecologías de la Imagen / One Sixth of the Earth. Ecologies of Image - MUSAC Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, León (2012); Museu de les narratives paral-leles / Museum of Parralel Naratives – MACBA, Barcelona; Socialism and Modernity: Art, Culture and Politics 1950 – 1974 – Museum of contemporary Art, Zagreb (2011); Promises of the Past. A Discontinuous History of Art in Former Eastern Europe - Centre Pompidou, Paris; Masqué – Bregenz, Magazin4 Bregenzer Kunstverein (2010); Gender Check - Femininity and Masculinity in the Art of Eastern Europe - Museum Moderner Kunst Vienna (2009) Cutting Realities. Gender Strategies in Art - Austrian Cultural Forum, New York (2008).