Candies: Homage to Félix González-Torres

José Manuel Fors Solo Show

Curated by Alejandro Machado

March 17 – May 4, 2019

José Manuel Fors solo show

About the Show

ENGLISH

Candies

Homage to Félix González-Torres

A solo show of José Manuel Fors

This personal show by José Manuel Fors is a tribute, through the piece “Candies. Homage to Félix González Torres. “, to the work of one of the Cuban artists of greater international impact, and with him, to a whole generation that ended up being separated by the circumstances of their time.

Félix González Torres and José Manuel Fors are two artists who, due to the historical circumstances in which they lived, formed and carried out their works without hearing from each other. José Manuel Fors studied and worked in Cuba, place of which in terms of information nothing came out, and nothing came. Member of the group Volume I, he contributed, along with the rest of the participants in that show, to changing the way in which art was seen on the island. They stopped emphasizing the “luck of the present” to begin to question, from the past, the reality that they were living. They became a deeply political generation, precisely because their themes were not. At Fors’s house it possibly was done the first show, after 1959, that was realized in a private place, this was in 1979. This exhibition was titled “Fresh Painting”, and the whole group that later became known as Volume I participated, in addition to other artists, including Carlos Alfonso. Felix G. Torres left Cuba very early, lived, studied and developed his work outside the island. He was always a very active and committed artist, from his participation as a member of the artistic collective known as Group Material to his later work in which, among other topics, speaks openly about homosexuality and AIDS. The point of union, beyond the evident difference of contexts and social reality, is established by the use of the international languages and discourses inherent to the art of the time: minimalism, accumulation, recycling, installation, attitude, etc., everything put in function of investigating a past, which is also autobiographical, through a profoundly metaphorical and intimate discourse.

Fors’s work is deeply self-referential. He is an artist who uses the family environment in order to find meaning in the past, where inhabit the codes that could unravel that result that is the present. All his work is composed of pieces of information that he is reaping over time, and where nothing is subject to prejudice if it is useful. His first pieces were armed with photos taken by his father. From then on, he began to exploit photography in the manner of a conservative who saves memory, that is, those images were subjected, to infinity, to be photographed and used, again and again, in different series. Recycling memories allowed him to build the memory he wanted because fragments that come from the past make that possible or as if history is not written?

It is good to clarify that Fors is not a photographer. As he says, for him photography is the same as a brush for a painter, just a tool. His work confirms it. What I do believe he is, and from the beginning he was, it is installationist, where visually he feels better. The materials he uses are chosen according to his installations: dry leaves, letters, postcards, objects, notes, pieces of paper, ropes, etc.

SPANISH

Candies

Homenaje a Félix Gonzales Torres.

Esta muestra personal de José Manuel Fors es un homenaje, a través de la pieza “Candies. Homenaje a Félix González Torres”, a la obra de uno de los artistas cubanos de mayor repercusión internacional, y con él, a toda una generación que termino viéndose separada por las circunstancias de su tiempo.

Son Félix González Torres y José Manuel Fors dos artistas que por las circunstancias históricas en que les toco vivir, se formaron y realizaron sus obras sin tener noticias el uno del otro. José Manuel Fors estudio y trabajo en Cuba, lugar del que en términos de información nada salía, y nada entraba. Integrante del grupo Volumen I, contribuyo, junto al resto de los participantes en ese show, a cambiar la forma en que se veía el arte en la isla. Dejaron de hacer énfasis en la “suerte del presente” para comenzar a cuestionar, desde el pasado, la realidad que les toco vivir. Se convirtieron en una generación profundamente política, precisamente porque sus temas no lo eran. Félix G. Torres salió de Cuba muy joven, estudio y desarrollo su obra fuera de la Isla. Siempre fue un artista muy activo y comprometido, desde su participación como miembro del colectivo artístico Group Material, hasta su obra posterior en la que, entre otros temas, habla abiertamente de la homosexualidad y el SIDA. El punto de unión, más allá de la evidente diferencia de contextos y realidad social, lo establece el uso de los lenguajes y discursos internacionales inherentes al arte de la época: el minimalismo, la acumulación, el reciclaje, la instalación, la actitud, etc., puestos en función de indagar en un pasado, que es también autobiográfico, a través de un discurso profundamente metafórico e íntimo.

La obra de Fors es profundamente autorreferencial. Es un artista que explota el entorno familiar en función de encontrar sentido al pasado, donde habitan los códigos que pudieran desentrañar ese resultado que es el presente. Toda su obra esta compuesta por trozos de información que va cosechando con el tiempo, y donde nada es objeto de prejuicio si es útil. Sus primeras piezas fueron armadas con fotos tomadas por su padre. A partir de ahí comenzó a explotar la fotografía con el sentido de un conservador poniendo a salvo la memoria, es decir que aquellas imágenes fueron sometidas, hasta el infinito, a ser también fotografiadas y usadas, una y otra vez, en diferentes series. Reciclar los recuerdos le permitió construir la memoria que quiso, porque los fragmentos que nos llegan del pasado hacen eso posible; ¿o como si no se escribe la historia?

Es bueno aclarar que Fors no es fotógrafo. Como el mismo dice, para él la fotografía es lo mismo que un pincel para un pintor, solo una herramienta. Su obra lo confirma. Lo que si creo que es, y desde el inicio lo fue, es instalacionista, solución que le resulta más cómoda porque es donde visualmente mejor se siente. Los materiales que usa los escoge en función de sus instalaciones: hojas secas, cartas, postales, objetos, notas, pedazos de papel, cuerdas, etc.

Alejandro Machado.

For more information about this artist, please contact the gallery.

+1 305 751 2550

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