Pretenzione Intenzione

Bohdan Stehlik / Una Szeemann, 2015
Fabbrica Rosa, Maggia

For almost thirty years, La Fabbrica Rosa in Maggia has been the location of Harald Szeemann’s studio – a site of creation, reflection and archiving, where the ideas that informed some of the most important art exhibitions from the past decades took shape. With La Fabbrica Rosa now in the process of entering a new chapter of its existence, we feel compelled to celebrate this occurrence by organizing an event that will put together two pictures and two periods of time that could only co-exist on an abstract plain.

Pretenzione Intenzione is an exhibition composed of a selection of objects from Szeemann’s archive. Their undisclosed origin and equally mystifying meaning put them in a mysterious state of ubiquity, making them the best representatives of an attempt to combine the different layers of a memory that is becoming collective in the process of withering. The recent departure of Szeemann’s historical archive has in fact broken one of the latest rhizomes capable of keeping alive the concept of a spiritual community where many felt at home despite the impossibility of actually being part of it.

The ‘Pretention’ mentioned in the title doesn’t have the ambition of bringing back to life the visionary spirit of Szeemann or to repropose a narrative of his character. Borrowed from a piece of paper found in the archive, where the two words were dashed next to an exotic doodle, Pretenzione Intenzione refers instead to an evocative absence. Operating on residua to spontaneously and archeologically rebuild the invisible and yet perceptible elements that constitute an abstract and still unexplored territory, Pretenzione Intenzione is an intimate and liminal place, exempted from the rules dictated by a strict observation of art history, and free to establish itself as a metaphorical desert island that we cannot describe despite our deep familiarity with it. Hence the two words in the title form a diachronic system, leading to an unknown destination while reaffirming at the same time the notion of utopia as something that can be generated both from pretentions and intentional principles.

Curated by Riccardo Lisi, Michele Robecchi, Bohdan Stehlik, Noah Stolz and Una Szeemann