The 53rd October Salon will be held in Belgrade from September 22 to November 4. The motto of this year’s event is Good life – Physical Narratives of Spatian Imagination. The Salon curators are Branislav Dimitrijević, art historian and theoretiian and Mika Hanula, professor of art at the Faculty of Art and Design of Goteborg University. More from Milena Gluvačević.
In the past several years, the October Salon has had various concepts and has been engaged in themes and dilemmas bringing art closer to everyday life, politics, science and experiment. The event is expected to be a provocation, full of challenging topics, to widen our views, it was said at the presentation of this year’s Salon.
This year’s project involves some forty artists from various countries: Finland, Germany, Sweden, Slovakia, Turkey, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, The Netherlands, UK and Serbia. This year’s Salon is held in an old, magnificent Belgrade building, situated in Karadjordjeva street – a former Belgrade Cooperative and lately the Geodetic Institute building, built in early 20th century for stock exchange and bank transactions. This edifice symbolizes Serbian history and as such represents an intriguing context for artistic interventions and for the creation of a specific spatial and conceptual experience as opposed to the defeating and degrading effects of contemporary social, political and economic crisis, says Branislav Dimitrijević.
His colleague Mika Hanula shares his opinion that the building which is to serve as the venue for the event, although considerably dilapidated by now, offers a range of possibilities for visual perspective and provides a specific and unique setting for art exhibitions.
The October Salon was founded by the City of Belgrade in 1960, as an exhibition of best achievements in fine arts, to include applied arts as well as of 1967. With a forty-year old tradition, the October Salon represents an important segment in studying modern art of the second half of the 20th century. The Salon has become a major festival of visual arts. Throughout its history, it has changed concepts and organization forms, but has remained a strong challenge of creative consciousness.
The concept of the Salon is decided upon by a council consisting of experts in visual arts – art historians, art critics and artists themselves. The council appoints a jury, which awards three ex-aequo recognitions for best works of art in the Salon. Since 2001, an art director proposing the Salon’s concept has been appointed. Until 2005, the October Salon represented the art scene in Serbia. That year, wishing to establish full dialogue with the international artistic scene, the City of Belgrade and the Council decided to turn this festival into an international one. The change of the Salon’s concept and structure bore great significance to the development of this most important art event in Belgrade and included it in the international calendar of art events, whereas the Serbian art scene was revived thanks to the possibility of joint exhibitions and direct comparison with international art trends and production.