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IKT International Association of Curators of Contemporary Art



OPEN CALL 56th October Salon – The Pleasure of Love

September – November, 2016, Belgrade, Serbia
Curated by David Elliott

The pleasure of love lasts only a moment.
The grief of love lasts a lifetime.

Jean-Paul Égide Martini

The first Autumn Salon was organized in Paris in 1903 as an antidote to the blindness of the art establishment by accepting artists who had no other place to show their work. Paintings were exhibited by, the as yet unknown, Pierre Bonnard, Henri Matisse, François Picabia, Paul Gauguin and many others.

The 56th Belgrade October Salon, a distant relative of this initiative, will pay homage to this illustrious past by showing a number of artists who do not yet have an international platform for their work alongside already established artists. It will also reflect on what transient pleasures, and its opposite, signify when expressed in art today.

In 1784 Jean-Paul-Égide Martini composed Plaisir d'Amour, a classic love song based on a poem by Jean-Pierre Claris de Florian who, one of many victims of the Terror of the French Revolution died in 1794. But Florian's words have echoed across time to still speak in the present, both in Martini's original arrangement and deformed into kitsch, at once eternal and fleeting.

Fully aware of such historical vicissitudes and paradoxes, this October Salon will concentrate on what role emotion plays in contemporary art and how it may be framed in ways that are neither banal nor kitsch. This may include the not-so-simple pleasures of love, humor, horror and any other perspectives that art may bring to bear on the fragility of human experience and life which, in itself, may have a transient or long-lasting impact. These works may be produced in any form or medium.

The work for the Salon will be selected in two ways: from a group of about fifteen international artists whom the curator will invite to participate with either work specially made for the exhibition or pre-existing work, and about forty artists of age forty or under whose work will be chosen from an Open Submission online.

The origins of the artists eligible to participate in the Open Submission will take into account Serbia's historic links, affinities and geographical position. At different times, Serbia has been an empire, part of the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires, a kingdom, part of a socialist federal republic and a republic; it is presently a candidate for membership of the European Union.

The Open Submission will reflect this wide area and artists from the countries listed below may participate in the Open Submission which will be online until 31st January 2016. The works to be exhibited will be chosen by the curator. Only people who have exhibited their work publicly and professionally as artists and works that respond to the theme and ideas of the 56th October Salon will be considered.

Artists should be forty years old or younger and citizens of the following countries:

Albania, Algeria, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and Yemen.

David Elliott

Deadline: January, 31st 2016.


Briefly, the October Salon was found in 1960 and since then funded by the City of Belgrade. Originally conceived as a platform for Serbian fine arts, it has lately become the largest annual international exhibition of contemporary art in the country, staged on the basis of a curatorial concept selected by the Board of The October Salon. Since 2004 when it became international, the October Salon aims to profile Serbia and the city of Belgrade within the framework of the international contemporary art scene and to strengthen the collaborations between local and international art scenes, professionals and public.

Among the curators of the international editions of the Salon we find professionals such as Anda Rottenberg, Darka Radosavljević, Réné Block, Lóránd Hegyi, Bojana Pejić, Branislava Andjelković, Johan Pousette, Celia Prado, Alenka Gregorič, Galit Eilat, Mika Hannula, Branislav Dimitrijević, curatorial group Red Mined, Nicolaus Schafhausen, Vanessa Joan Müller.

From 2014, at the proposal of the Secretary for Culture, adopted at the session of the Assembly of the City of Belgrade, October Salon will be held biannually, meaning every second year, by virtu of whicj certain savings will be achieved and the overall quality of this cultural manifestation significantly improved.

More at:

Organizer: Cultural Centre of Belgrade,


David Elliott is a curator, writer and professor of modern and contemporary art who has directed museums in Oxford, Stockholm, Tokyo, and Istanbul. During 2014 he was Artistic Director of A Time for Dreams, the IV International Moscow Biennale of Young Art, co-curator of PANDAMONIUM: New Media Art from Shanghai and Fragments of Empire at MOMENTUM in Berlin and curator of Art From Elsewhere. Art from British Regional Galleries, a Hayward Gallery Touring Exhibition. He is currently Chairman of the Board of Triangle Art Network/Gasworks in London, Chairman of the Advisory Board of MOMENTUM in Berlin and a Visiting Professor in Curatorship at the Chinese University in Hong Kong.

A specialist in Soviet and Russian avant-garde, as well as in modern and contemporary Asian art, he has published widely in these fields as well as on many other aspects of contemporary art. In 2008-10 he was Artistic Director of the 17th Biennale of Sydney and in 2011-12 directed the inaugural International Biennale of Contemporary Art in Kyiv. His exhibitions Fragments of Empire and Art From Elsewhere are travelling in the US, China and the UK during 2015-17. During the second half of 2015 his exhibitions Scheisse: a solo show by Zhou Xiaohu and BALAGAN!!! Contemporary Art from the Former Soviet Union and Other Mythical Places were running in Berlin and Shen Shaomin THERE IS NO PROBLEM opened in Guangzhou, China in December. During 2016 Elliott's new book Art and Trousers: Tradition and Modernity in Contemporary Asian Art will be published by AAP.

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