THE 56TH BELGRADE OCTOBER SALON
THE PLEASURE OF LOVE
CURATED BY DAVID ELLIOTT
Plaisir d’amour ne dure qu’un moment, The pleasure of love lasts only a
Chagrin d’amour dure toute la vie. Moment.
The grief of love lasts a lifetime.
The first Autumn Salon was organised 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 pleasure as well as grief, 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, humour, pain, horror and any other
perspectives that art may bring to bear on the fragility of human experience
and life that, in themselves, may have a transient or long-lasting impact.
Certain ideas will act as hubs for the exhibition that, while not being
expressed by separate sections, will run like leitmotifs through different kinds
of work. These are: kin, desire, nature, work, freedom and politics.