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29 Sep 2009

The 50th October Salon, Belgrade

The 50th October Salon CIRCUMSTANCE


Official inauguration:
Museum of Yugoslav History - Museum 25th May, Boticeva 6, Belgrade
October 2nd 2009 at 7:00 pm

+ 381 11 2622 926
+ 381 11 2623 853

Knez Mihailova 6/I, 11000 Belgrade, RS

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The 50th October Salon
October 2nd - November 15th 2009

Artists: Phil Collins, Miljenko Dereta, Biljana ?urđević, Uroš ?urić, Bojan Fajfrić, Živko Grozdanić, Ivan Grubanov, Igor Grubić, Aleksandar Jestrović Jamesdin, Žolt Kovač, Kunsthistorisches Mausoleum, Marko Lulić, Zoran Naskovski, Peđa Nešković, Vladimir Nikolić, Oleg Novković, Darinka Pop-Mitić, Branimir Stojanović, Zoran Todorović, Raša Todosijević, Katarina Zdjelar, Želimir Žilnik

Art Director: Branislava Anđelković

Exhibition venues: Museum of Yugoslav History (Botićeva 6), Belgrade Cultural Centre (Knez Mihailova 6 and Trg Republike 5/I), Centre for Cultural Decontamination (Birčaninova 21), Kunsthistorisches Mausoleum (Braće Radovanovića 28) and the Public Garage in Masarikova Street (Masarikova 4).

The project CIRCUMSTANCE has been motivated by the necessity of reviewing the contemporary art scene in Serbia in its international dimensions and in relation to the circumstances of its local production. The framework of the project is made up of the exhibition, through which it will be possible to review the most prominent, inspirational and critically founded artistic positions in Serbia at the moment, that is, the work of those artists who have developed specific artistic languages and philosophies, in various media, whom it is necessary to present to a broader public in Belgrade and in Serbia as thoroughly as possible. The exhibition CIRCUMSTANCE has not been conceived as a mere 'agglomeration' of works but as an attempt to represent, through selected projects of the artists who were invited, the uniqueness and the specific character of the positions and propositions on the contemporary scene in relation to the social processes, and especially in relation to the very real sense of crisis we are living in.

Since 2004, when the October Salon turned from a local exhibition into an international art event, apart from its long-awaited internationalisation, there has occurred a controversial differentiation between a figure of a 'domestic artist' and that of an 'international artist'. This year's October Salon, with its emphasis on artists who mainly live and work in Serbia but also make their presence felt on the international scene, does not aim to bring this event back to the status of a local exhibition; on the contrary, it aims to present 'a local artist' as 'an international artist' who remains connected to local experiences, on the basis of which he undertakes initiatives and suggests interventions. Some artists who do not live in Serbia, but whose work we consider to be an active element of contemporary art in the local milieu, have been invited to this exhibition as guests.

The projects that will be presented do not merely express the way in which an artist 'deals' with matters of significance for society and art; they constitute direct interventions into our comprehension of and our attitude towards these matters. This applies irrespective of whether those issues concern the position and the role of the artist, the (non-)existence of the art system, the disappearance of art from the public and media space, the inadequacy of discourse about art, or the pressing issues of the social and economic crisis such as the process of privatisation, social stratification, cultural isolation, the trauma of historical memory, citizens' inactivity and inertia, social (in)tolerance, etc.

In view of the fact that the October Salon is an art event that is most visible to the general public in Serbia, the starting point is the idea that this project will initiate mechanisms of communication between artists and the audience. There is a need to present contemporary art not just by way of the exhibition but also through various side events, the aim of which is to establish a dialogue and to contribute to a better understanding of the position and the role of the artist in society. The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue in which each individual artist will be thoroughly presented not only through his/her authorship over a particular work but also through the complexity of his/her artistic, intellectual, political and ethical positions.

Within the framework of the project CIRCUMSTANCE, two special artistic projects will be realised. Igor Grubić's project Individual Collectivism is made up of a series of brief television clips presenting the artists featured in this exhibition to the general public. These TV portraits will be broadcasted for the duration of the October Salon. Raša Todosijević's project Artist as Prophet will be realised in the public space of the city and will constitute a specific form of communication between the artist and the social/personal circumstances that he is conditioned by. In both projects, it is the artists who intervene within the framework of the usual 'promotional' activities characteristic of such exhibitions.

Miroslav Karić (press) –
+381 63 7060504
Vesna Milić (co-ordination) -
+381 11 3676293