As skeptical as mystical, as mathematical and rigorous as spontaneous, José Manuel Fors is an outsider that digs into the annals of history to feed in them. The meat he desires is the reluctant surface of the dusty image of the past and his palate is very refined. Having been influenced by the hard ranked procedure of minimal and conceptual art, he operates and files the ramshackle remains of his dinner left on the table. Thus he makes altars to time, a helpful strategy to remind its imposing and infallible character, the vulnerability of man before its presence and, paradoxically, its futility.
His artworks are all inoperative and extraordinarily anti-technological devices. Every day, man creates more efficient machines to measure and control his future; meanwhile, Fors creates harmful and deceptive devices that make collapse the diametrically ranked logic of human existence. They are paused clocks, machines of memory that instead of throwing us to the resounding chirp of the seconds dying on the hip of present times, inaugurate a riskless countdown.
His oeuvre is, in fair measure, necessary; it is an unflinching act of ubiquity for the human race, its history, and also for its future. That is why it takes part of an unmistakable sense of absolute fullness. His installations, (re) articulated objects, photographs, large abstract compositions made of strings, ties and memories, build a sort of cartographic fact of huge extension. Whether in the bowels of a tree, in the dust of an ancient book, in the humility of rusty memories, in the disturbing proximity of unknown faces, in clusters of letters, in skeletal umbrellas, in shadows or watches without pointers, Fors always falls back on our capacity of devotion to the decorous body of inertness. And in the retrospective act of memory, a pleasant sense of complicity is unleashed on us, just before the chilling signs of our mortality spread throughout the body. Such a smell of life evokes and such a smell of death is expanded.