This publication followed the exhibition “Strategies of Ready-
Mades” by Tomislav Gotovac (1937 – 2010) which opened in
2016, to mark the 79th anniversary of the birth of the artist on
February 9. Exhibition organisers were Institute for
Contemporary Art and Tomislav Gotovac Institute.
The exhibition presented rarely or never before shown works by
the artist, which directly or partially refer to a radical artistic
practice of Marcel Duchamp. Exhibited were collages, objects and
films from different phases of the artist’s vast oeuvre. The
selected works were created over 40 years, from the mid of the
70s of the last century.
Exhibition dates collided with two important centenaries. Marcel
Duchamp used the term “ready-made” for the first time in a letter
to his sister, dated January 15, 1916. The same year, a few days
later Cabaret Voltaire opened, on February 5, 1916, in Zurich, the
event which now is considered to mark the beginning of Dadaism.
Those events have very much encouraged and influenced the
radical artistic practices in the 20th century, as Gotovac’s work
Darko Šimičić offers in his text an insight into Gotovac’s work that
opens a new understanding of this particular portion in the body
of his work.
The exhibition additionally served as a preparatory study for the
first retrospective exhibition of Tomislav Gotovac, held in 2017 at
the newly opened venue of the Museum of Modern and
Contemporary Art in Rijeka.
Tomislav Gotovac worked in a variety of media that span across
five decades. He was a multidisciplinary artist, considered the
precursor of performance art in Croatia and former Yugoslavia; a
pivotal figure in the development of the artistic avant-garde in
Eastern Europe during the 1960s and 1970s.
Darko Šimičić is an art critic and curator based in Zagreb,
Croatia. He is a co-founder of the Tomislav Gotovac Institute in
Zagreb where he is currently working as researcher and
secretary. His professional interest is focused on avant-gardes in
1920’s and 30’s (Zenithism, dada, Bauhaus, photomontages) and
groups and individuals in Croatian art in 1960’s and 1970’s
(Gorgona, Mangelos, Group of Six Artists, Tomislav Gotovac).