Exhibition “Dear friends, dear enemies” at Spot Gallery


18 October – 12 November 2021


The Spot Gallery and the Office for Photography announce the exhibition “Dear friends, dear enemies”. The exhibition opening will be held on 18th October at 7 p.m.



Dear friends, dear enemies,

if the calculations are correct, mangelos no. 14 ½ is today a globally relevant artist. His slates, books and globes are kept in important museums and coveted by every serious collector. Books are written about him and lectures presented. It has not always been like that. He himself tried, albeit unsuccessfully, to show his works back in the 1960s, but his friends – the Gorgona Group forerunners, did not approve. It was not until much later, that he revealed his manifestos, painted letters, globes and school slates, to the rare visitors, at certain secluded places.
Dimitrije Bašičević was a curator and critic, determined in the struggle for authentic naïve art, new tendencies and abstract art forms. At a time when obstacles could be very dangerous, he fought for introducing exceedingly high criteria for the evaluation of new media. Today, his accomplishments have blurred into the oblivion.
In the introduction in the catalogue of the now-forgotten exhibition Confrontation, organized in 1976, at the City Gallery of Contemporary Art, he writes that the exhibition is composed of works of art from the Benko Horvat Gallery and the Gallery of Contemporary Art, while copies, reproductions and texts on art, are displayed alongside original artworks and given equal treatment as the exhibits. The intention of such an approach is to confront image and copy, image and reproduction, image and word, image and image, old and modern art, as well as image and its consumer.
This exhibition has been curated along similar lines. Manifestos, posters, photographs, catalogues, invitations and writings are exhibited in between tabula rasa (1951 – 1956) and the manifesto on self-governance (1978), with the intention of reintroducing a critic and art theorist, and an artist (or noartist), in the fascinating contradictions of one remarkable person. As for explanations or theories? In his own words:

the most philosophical
and the most theoretical
explanation of noart



Curators: Sandra Križić Roban and Darko Šimičić

Dimitrije Bašičević (Šid, 1921 – Zagreb, 1987) was an art historian, critic and curator, as well as a promoter of naïve and abstract art. He spent his working life at the Gallery of Primitive Art and the Gallery of Contemporary Art in Zagreb. During the 1970s, his curatorial and critical work focused primarily on conceptual and media art, especially photography. As an artist, he operated under the pseudonym Mangelos. He was one of the founders of the Gorgona Group. He termed his work, created at the intersection between writing and painting, “noart”. He very rarely exhibited. Today, he is recognized as one of the key actors on the art scene of the second half of the 20th century, while his works are preserved in prominent museum collections.

As part of the complementary program of the exhibition Office for Photography will be hosting a talk about Dimitrije Bašičević’s key text “Consequences of Photography. 11 digressions on culture and art of the 1970s”, with the participation of Leonida Kovač, Darko Šimičić and Sandra Križić Roban. The date and time of the talk will be announced at the Contemporary Croatian Photography official website.

The exhibition is supported by City of Zagreb, Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia, Kultura Nova Foundation and Creative Europe.

Opening hours of Gallery Spot:
Mon – Fri / 4 – 8 pm

This post is also available in: Croatian