The 57th CACOPHONOUS EDITION. 16 days have left until the 57th October Salon The Marvellous Cacophony opens! This year’s art directors and curators are Gunnar Kvaran and Danielle Kvaran, who have gathered 72 artists from around the world under the concept of The Marvellous Cacophony.
The October Salon, founded by the City of Belgrade in 1960, is still one of the main events in the field of contemporary visual art in Serbia. Its international character, a large number of the most distinguished local and foreign curators who have curated the Salon since 2004, over a thousand major artists from Serbia, the region and the world, a large number of newly discovered, renovated and adapted spaces for the needs of artistic content are just some of the reasons why the October Salon is still one of the most important events in the world of art.
The concept of the 57th October Salon rests on the fact that the Western perception of contemporary art has become universal and that “cacophony” has been the denominator of disparate art movements since the beginning of the 21st century. The reconsidering of art and what art can be seems to be the main thread of the exhibition’s concept. The name of the exhibition, The Marvellous Cacophony, suggests a constellation of works that express, through their forms, structures and content, the diversity and richness of the cacophonous expression as an important element or condition in contemporary art today. The curators present artistic production worldwide; they look into diverse art scenes, different generations. Structured in this way, the exhibition will represent “an installation as a mirror of the world”, as a diversified situation, rich in cacophony. In contrast to its pejorative ring, The Marvellous Cacophony should be seen as a positive situation, that gives rise to a new type of energy, through which dissonant and even conflicting ideas and expressions can be transmitted.
The exhibition will be placed at five venues in the city centre – the Cultural Centre of Belgrade (Artget Gallery, Art Gallery, Podroom Gallery), Belgrade City Museum, Remont Gallery, U10 Art Space and Gallery of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts. In the media of video, sculpture, painting, performance, etc., an emphasis will be put on a diversified artistic production that, through the cacophonous structure of the exhibition, bridges the national, racial, generational, gender, class and other categories. Seventy-two artists from around the globe take part in the exhibition, and the cooperation with Balkan Projects brings a special event dedicated to performance. This year’s October Salon will be accompanied by a rich program – public guidances, thematic guidances by experts and professionals in the field of culture (art history, film, architecture, etc.), workshops for children and young people, talks with artists, etc.
STARS AT THE OCTOBER SALON. Some of the world’s most renowned artists are on this year’s list of exhibitors at the Salon. The Serbian audience will have the opportunity to see the works of Anselm Kiefer, Erró, Olafur Eliasson, Larry Bell, Cindy Sherman, Tom Sachs, Yoko Ono, Takashi Murakami, Helen Marten, Eva Kotatkova and Dominik Lang, Cao Fei; as well as the works of prominent younger generation artists – Ian Cheng, Magali Reus, Tobias Madison, Marguerite Humeau, Hannah Weinberger, etc.
Besides the participatory work of Yoko Ono, which has already gained the public’s attention, we are singling out several artists who will surprise you by reflecting on the medium they use and the specificity of their art practices.
Erró, one of the leading figures on the international avant-garde scene of the 1960s, whose name is connected with new figuration, happening and a new wave of experimental film, says about his work: “Comic book characters appeared in my series 1963-1964, when I discovered American pop culture. They were first integrated into my compositions as references to other sources, newspaper articles or the works of great painting masters. Over time, they have become the exclusive motive of collages and large-format paintings.” Erró draws inspiration from our globalized world and its continuous flow of images and information. As the beginner of coloured collage, he has created a satirical and playful saga on consumer society and world politics.
In his rich and monumental body of work, that fuses art, literature, painting and sculpture, Anselm Kiefer reflects upon the identity and history of post-war Germany. He works with a wide range of materials, including photographs, coal, tar, lead, sand, and dried plants, as well as woodcut, a technique with a long and distinguished history in German art.
Tom Sachs will launch five rockets at the 57th October Salon, each one will launch from the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts. It is an interactive work, implying that the spectators track the launched rockets and recover them to be logged on the map. Launches will be live-streamed through all available communication channels.
Cao Fei is one of the most innovative Chinese artists who have appeared on the international scene. In her films and installations she fuses social comments, popular aesthetics, references to surrealism and documentary conventions. Her works reflect the rapid and chaotic changes that are taking place in the Chinese society today.
Takashi Murakami’s aesthetics is close to the style of sweet cartoons (kawaii) as a more subtle way of looking at contemporary society and culture. However, with his work at the October Salon Murakami pays tribute to Japanese tradition of screen-representation together with the desire to include elements of “design” in his pictorial language.
Dragana Kostica is the Belgrade-based editor in chief and founder of Still in Belgrade art, culture and club scene magazine. She holds a Master of Arts in Cultural Policy and Management in Arts (MA of Arts) and a Bachelor degree in Archaeology.