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Tomislav Gotovac. Life as a Film Experiment

Tomislav Gotovac. Life as a Film Experiment


Oringinally published under the title “KINO TOM. Tomislav Gotovac a.k.a. Antonio G. Lauer between Zagreb and Belgrade” by Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade and Croatian Film Association, Zagreb in 2012, this book gives an excellent and provocative overview on work of Tomislav Gotovac (1937-2010), filmmaker, visual artist and performer.

Gotovac began his “anarcho-film” career in the early sixties with a series of photographs,  performances, actions and experimental films. He is viewed as an artist whose innovations had a major influence on later generation of visual artists and filmmakers. He has shown his work at numerous exhibitions both home and abroad. Gotovac is an artist whose multifaceted works combine visual art practices with avant-garde, experimental, acted and documentary film, performance art, body art and conceptual art. With the exception of an eight-year hiatus in his thirties (from 1967 to 1975), he has lived in Zagreb since he was a child.

With this monograph, Slobodan Šijan, a renowned Serbian film director and one of artist’s closest friends, pays homage to Gotovac and his singular understanding of cinema.

The book comprises almost 400 pages and its 48 chapters function as 48 movie-like “frames” of analysis, quotes, and commentaries, but also as an attempt at understanding some of the processes that shaped the films of Gotovac and informed his artistic methods. Šijan makes extensive use of his own memories, narration, testimonies, and archival materials. His creative combination of these materials results in a book about one artist, written by another artist, in an uniquely artistic way. 

The book can be read as a film due to the abundance of visual materials it includes, its skillful graphic design, and a composition informed by the principles of montage/collage. This approach represents a reconstruction of Gotovac’s interaction with reality, film, and the arts in general, and it enables the volume to function simultaneously as a monograph about one author, a kind of personal contextualization of a tumultuous artistic period, and as an unique cultural and sociological study of the Yugoslav region from the 1960s on.

Tomislav Gotovac lived his life by approaching the words “reality” and “movie” as synonymous. This extensive and meticulous study is the first monograph on his work in the English language.



Year: 2018

Editors: Darko Šimičić, Diana Nenadić, Petar Milat

Publisher: Tomislav Gotovac Institute, CroatianFilm Association, Multimedia Institute

Distributed by: Walther Koenig, Tomislav Gotovac Institute, CroatianFilm Association, Multimedia Institute

Texts by: Slobodan Šijan

Language: English

Pages: 386

ISBN: 978-953-59987-0-9 



  • Edit by: Darko Šimičić, Diana Nenadić, Petar Milat
  • Original Title: Tomislav Gotovac. Life as a Film Experiment
  • Year: 2018
  • Publisher: Tomislav Gotovac Institute
  • Language: ENGLISH