Subtitles or a love poem in plain language is about creative acts and their origins, both subconscious and deliberate, from childhood and in what comes after. A silent, single-channel video, it operates on miscombinations of text and image. The text is a series of personal narrations, the images are b/w analog photographs taken over the last few years, and there is no audio to make space for the viewers’ own voices reading in their own heads. —Lesley-Anne Cao

A silent video of analog black and white images, Subtitles or a love poem in plain language is a meditation on the origins of creative acts. Each of its four-second frames contains a line and a photograph; neither illustrates the other. And so, with this mismatch, we are thrown into a dilemma: read the text or interpret the image (which says nothing of an attempt to draw connections, however unintended by the artist). Subtitles began as a response to Édouard Lévé’s celebrated memoir Autoportrait before transforming into an auto-fictional foray into the artist’s creative origins and personal histories. Cao delves, with poetic brevity, into what she calls 'proto-practices', or the unassuming creative acts performed in our youth: like the writing and photography of Cao's childhood, neither of which have, until now, made it into her artistic practice. —Tendai John Mutambu

Lesley-Anne Cao

Lesley-Anne Cao (1992, Philippines) is a visual artist working primarily with objects and installation. Her practice is an inquiry into and a privileging of the quiet and self-effacing in relation to spectacle and significance in the context of exhibitions and art-making. She earned her BFA in Studio Arts from the University of the Philippines Diliman College of Fine Arts. She has also presented work in Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Australia.