Tomislav GotovacAntonio G. Lauer a.k.a Tomislav Gotovac (1937-2010) was an avant-garde film director and performer. He graduated in film directing from the Academy of Theatre, Film, Radio and Television in Belgrade. Gotovac made his first performances, films, collages and series of photographs in the early 1960s. His artistic activities combined visual art, the avant-garde, experimental, documentary and feature films, performance, body art and conceptual art.

In addition to various individual and group exhibitions, performances and experimental film practices, Gotovac showed his films at local and international film festivals. In 2005, he changed his name to Antonio Lauer. The Croatian Film Clubs’ Association and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb published a monograph on his work in 2003.

List of exhibited works:

The Forenoon of a Faun
experimental documentary, 16mm transferred to DVD, b/w, 9 minutes

This pioneering work of structuralist film stands as a manifesto of Gotovac's approach to art. The film embodies characteristic methods of his art practice such as: the appropriation of background sound from different sources (films, music, etc.); the consistent employment of consciously limited film/artistic procedures that structure the film/action; the reworking of cinematic ideas by classical film directors (such as Jean-Luc Godard and Howard Hawks) in a non-narrative structuralist language. The film was shot in three sequences using a static camera: the first shows a scene with patients on a hospital balcony and has a jazz soundtrack taken from the film Vivre sa vie by Jean-Luc Godard; the second zooms in on a detail of a peeling wall and the third zooms in and out at a city crossroads with pedestrians and cars, with the startling sound of a siren taken from the film The Time-Machine by George Pal.

experimental documentary, 8mm transferred to DVD, b/w, 4 minutes

A male hand is leafing through a Swedish erotic magazine. There are city roofs in the background, and the camera zooms in on the naked female bodies. Again, a ready-made jazz soundtrack is an integral part of the work. The film reflects the author's interest in performing his own intimacy in a public space, one of the central themes of his future work. The act of structuring the film becomes its fundamental content through a repeatedly performed action - leafing through an erotic magazine.

Family Film I
documentary, 8mm transferred to DVD, b/w, 6 minutes

As we learn from the title, the film shows the artist and his lover at the start of their relationship. There is no script, no roles and no director, the lovers are completely exposed and at the same time in control of the situation, showing and observing, unashamedly and unrestrainedly happy. Technically, the work can be called 'a porn movie', but the equality of the partners, visible in the way they take turns in holding the camera and filming each other, is almost surprising in its mutual respect and uninhibited enjoyment.

Family Film II
documentary, 16mm transferred to DVD, b/w, 10 minutes

The film is composed of a juxtaposition of several parts, almost as a triptych - it starts and ends with the lovers washing each other under the shower, while the central part takes place in a little room. But this time the filming is done by a third person, a 'neutral' and 'detached' observer is with them, and while the gentleness between the two partners is still evident, the sense of unrestrained joy and openness has gone.

Showing the Elle Magazine
series of 6 photographs, photos by Ivica Hripko

The series Showing the Elle is an important marker in Gotovac’s performance-related work. It was the first public performance in which the artist used his own (semi)-naked body in a public space, a trademark of his future major performances. Performed at the popular Sljeme mountain, near Zagreb, Showing the Elle represents an early example of public performance in a local context. The medium of photography is not only used to document the performed action of showing the popular magazine to his friends and passersby, but he employs photography to direct the film by other stylistic means.

series of 3 photographs, photos by Petar Blagojević-Aranđelović

At the beginning of his career while he was still working as an amateur filmmaker, Gotovac was seldom in a position to make actual films, so he often used the medium of photography as a ‘substitute’ for film directing. Hands is an early series of photographic sequences which, along with the photo-series Suitcase, Trio, and Posing, all made in 1964 in Belgrade, emulates elements of performance, film and photography. Gotovac appears as a protagonist in these imaginary new-wave film stills, but he is not interested in disguise, narration or character play. Hands reveals the detail of the body - his hands interact and play a simple yet surprising game of hide and seek with the city.

Metal Covers of the City of Belgrade
series of 96 photographs, photos by Juan-Carlos Ferro Duque

The series of photographs turns the omnipresent and yet almost invisible detail of metal, street covers into strong visual signs that are indicative of Gotovac’s method of reduction and repetition, of finding systems in unexpected, unforeseen circumstances. The series reflects his sensibility for obsessive visual collecting, a
systematic catalogue of particular motifs of the surprising urban reality.

Cara Dušana 11
series of 34 photographs, photos by Juan-Carlos Ferro Duque

Meticulously organised and shot in a movie sequence characteristic of the artist's method, this series of photographs documents Gotovac's place of living in Belgrade from 1971 to 1979 while he was studying movie directing.

S Family Film I Family Film II
Showing the Elle Magazine Showing the Elle Magazine Showing the Elle Magazine