The curators of the 58th October Salon and the results of the open call


September 19th – November 1st 2020

Press preview

Friday, September 18th 2020


Exhibition opening

Saturday, September 19th 2020


Curators of the 58th October Salon

Ilaria Marotta (Italian art historian, curator and publisher, born in Rome where she lives and works), and Andrea Baccin (Italian publisher, curator and graphic designer, born in Milan, he lives and works in Rome) work together as an editorial and curatorial collective since 2009. They are founding directors and Editors in Chief of the international art magazine and publishing house CURA. In 2012 they founded BASEMENT ROMA a non-profit project devoted to the promotion of cutting edge artists of the new generation and in 2018 they founded the exhibition space KURA, in Milan. They have curated and co-curated over 40 exhibitions of international artists, both in Italy and abroad, working with museums, academies, art galleries and foundations. Among them, the solo exhibitions by Than Hussein Clark, Patrizio Di Massimo, Yves Scherer, Claudia Comte, David Douard, Augustas Serapinas, Nico Vascellari, Lili Reynaud-Dewar, Nicolas Deshayes, Ei Arakawa, Ed Fornieles, Athena Papadopoulos and others. They have worked with many international artists for art publications, artist’s books and group exhibitions, including Daniel Steegmann Mangrané, Marguerite Humeau, Michael E. Smith, Ian Cheng, Bunny Rogers, Maaike Schoorel, Jorinde Voigt, George Henry Longly, Francesco Arena, and many more. They have collaborated with private and public institutions of the international scene and curated exhibitions at Kunsthalle Lissabon, Lisbon, at the American Academy in Rome, Rome, at MAXXI Museum, Rome, at Giuliani Foundation, Rome, at Nomas Foundation, Rome at London Metropolitan University in London. Ilaria Marotta has graduated in Iconography and Iconology, Art History Department at La Sapienza in Rome and she has achieved a Master in Museums Management at Luiss Management and in Curatorial Studies at La Sapienza in Rome. She was Curator in Residency at ISCP in New York in 2013. Her previous experiences include: MACRO Museum’s Curatorial Department, Rome (2006–2008) and ARCO Museum’s Curatorial Department, Benevento (2005 –2007). Andrea Baccin has graduated in Graphic Design and New Media at the European Institute of Design in Milan, and has previously worked as Art Director for international agencies such as Saatchi & Saatchi and Ogilvy & Mather. They are currently part of the selection committee of the Bulgari MAXXI Prize at MAXXI Museum.


Concept of the 58th October Salon: The Dreamers

For centuries philosophers have asked to what extent our external world can legitimately be considered real, utilizing the oneiric as an argument to criticize our most common certainties. Today, the accelerated development of the new technologies seems to have overturned the issue. The possibility of creating and taking part in increasingly refined virtual spaces seems to represent an escape from reality, an escape towards a dimension that is not strictly oneiric, but that is undoubtedly related to our dreams.

The Dreamers intends to question not only the misleading and ambiguous nature of the real, but the space occupied by art, intended as space of freedom able to challenge the certainty of the real world, of acquired knowledge and of our own beliefs. In a world where cultural, religious, and even expressive barriers are increasingly being tightened, artists react to the paradoxical coincidence of antithetic attitudes — openness, permeability, distrust, and rejection — with the construction of a new space. A space where racial, sexual and social freedom and imaginaries can be experimented with, a place where art does not have one form but many, thanks to the constant ‘giving back and forth’ between the virtual and the physical.

The question is: how can we perceive today’s world? What are the conditionings that interfere in the capacity to critically experience reality? How can artists explain the complexity of the human being in our current times? In this multi-faceted world, dreams are an essential need for human beings. The Dreamers become the inhabitants of a metaphorical world where no barriers, no limits, and no borders can limit the access to a land where we can re-think our own time, rules, and attitudes and configure new scenarios and ways. A place where past, present and future are no longer existing categories and a suspended world defines the formation of a new era.

Results of the open call for the 58th edition of the October Salon:

The artists selected for the exhibition The Dreamers, 58th October Salon, Belgrade Biennial 2020 curated by Ilaria Marotta and Andrea Baccin, were chosen among over 300 applications received.

After careful evaluation of the projects and portfolios, the curators used a double criterion of choice. Firstly, a generational criterion aimed at identifying new talents who could be given a first exhibition opportunity in the context of the October Salon. Then, a particular importance was given to the Balkan area and to Serbian artists, in the very spirit of the October Salon, aimed at supporting a new generation of artists living and working in Serbia. This focus on young artists is also part of the exhibition project.

Based on these premises, the artists were chosen for the quality of their proposals in relation to the curatorial project, for the evocative power of their work, for the originality and awareness of the reasons underlying their artistic practice, as well as for the innovative drive of their individual research.

Selected artists are:

Marija Avramović and Sam Twidale (1989, Belgrade / 1988, Hereford, UK)

Sanja Ćopić (1992, Belgrade)

Nenad Gajić (1982, Pančevo)

Nadežda Kirćanski (1992, Zrenjanin)

Hana Miletić (1982, Zagreb)

Sonja Radaković (1989, Belgrade)

About October Salon:

October Salon is an international exhibition of contemporary art which, in 2014, became biennial. It takes place between September and December, lasts for six weeks and is not tied to any venue in particular; the venue is always chosen anew, according to the disposal of the venues, and the concept of the art director/curator. October Salon was founded in 1960 by the City of Belgrade as an exhibition of the highest achievements in fine arts (as of 1967, it also includes applied arts), according to the model of the Paris Salon exhibitions.

Over the years, the Salon has changed its concepts and modes of organisation and, in 2004, it became international and one of the benchmarks for both Serbian and the regional art scene. The board of October Salon, appointed by the City of Belgrade, makes decisions on the concept, art director/curator, as well as on the members of international jury, which decides on the October Salon Award.

In the previous year, the curators of the international Salon have been: Anda Rottenberg, Darka Radosavljević and Nebojša Vilić, René Block, Lorand Hegyi, Bojana Pejić, Branislava Anđelković, Johan Poussete and Celia Prado, Alenka Gregorič and Galit Eilat, Branislav Dimitrijević and Mika Hannula, curator group Red Min(e)d, Nicolaus Schafhausen, David Elliott, Gunnar and Danielle Kvaran.

Members of the October Salon Board from February 2019: Gordana Goncić, president, Svetlana Jovanović, Maja Kolarić, Đorđe Ozbolt and Vladislav Šćepanović

Founder and patron: The City of Belgrade
With the support of: The Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia
Partners: Belgrade City Belgrade, ULUS, Italian Cultural Institute Belgrade, AKF
Organizer: Cultural Centre of Belgrade
Knez Mihailova Street, 6/I, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia