Goran Trbuljak was born in 1948 in Varazdin, Croatia. In 1972 he graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb, Croatia, with a diploma in graphic arts. From 1973 to 1974 he studied painting at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris. In 1980 he graduated from the Academy of Film, Theatre and Television at the University of Zagreb, where he has held a professorship since 1988. He also works as a photographer, graphic designer, writer and cinematographer. As a filmmaker, he has made over 25 feature films and a number of television series. At the National Film Festival in Pula, he was awarded the Golden Arena for Best Cinematography five times. In 2022, he received the prestigious Octavian Lifetime Achievement Award from the Croatian Society of Film Critics.
The artist has participated in numerous group exhibitions internationally, including 2017 Showroom, London, UK and Museum of Modern Art, Ljubljana, 2016 FM Centro per l'Arte Contemporanea, Milan, Italy, 2015 Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, USA, 2014 Carré d'art - Musée d'art contemporain de Nîmes, France, 2004 Museum für Moderne Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien (mumok), Vienna, Austria and several times in exhibitions of the Generali Foundation Collection in Vienna and Salzburg. Solo exhibitions dedicated to him include 2022 P420, Bologna, Italy, 2019 Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Rijeka, Croatia and Museo d'Arte Moderna di Bologna (MAMBo) - Villa delle Rose, Bologna, Italy, 2018 Centre d'Art Contemporain Genève, Switzerland, 2016 Muzej-Museo Lapidarium, Novigrad, Croatia. He represented Croatia at the 47th (1995) and 51st (2005) Biennale di Venezia, Italy. Goran Trbuljak lives and works in Zagreb.
Goran Trbuljak is one of the most important conceptual artists in Croatia. Since the late 1960s, the artist has carried out a series of artistic projects, some of them during a stay abroad in Paris in the early 1970s, in which he critically questioned the mechanisms of the art system. A representative group of these works and his videos are in the Generali Foundation collection, including "Referendum." In 1974, the artist conducted a referendum on the main street of Zagreb (Ilica Street), asking passersby: "Is Goran Trbuljak an artist or not?" There were two answers to choose from: 1. yes 2. no. From the evaluation it appeared that most of them thought he was an artist. From this he drew the conclusion that an "artist is the one who is given the opportunity to be one by the others". His interactive artistic approach led the artist to make the street his action space, preferring to work in public spaces rather than in a closed artist's studio. Many of his works are based on text, interaction and intervention with the viewers and often have a willfully humorous accent.read more read less