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a caveat, a score (2023)

a caveat, a score comprises found objects and furniture, photographic prints, drawings, video and polymer clay sculptures fashioned after botanical and zoological forms, which come together as an installation reminiscent of a set design.

In this artwork, Moses Tan explores the concepts of duality and fluidity by employing words and ideas with multiple meanings as analogies for queerness, failure and affect, including “caveat” and “tidalectics.” The word “caveat” is an explanation or cautionary detail meant to prevent misinterpretation and symbolises the challenges queer individuals often face when navigating their identities and visibility in unloving environments. The word “tidalectics” refers to an oceanic worldview and suggests new methods and pathways for existence that are defined by movement and flux. Tan translates the ebb and flow of waves into a dance score for humans, creating performative gestures that evoke emotional responses such as folding inwards as a protective act or opening up towards gestures of care. These movements and forms are explored by the performers in the video as well as in other components of the work, such as the vinyl graphics and polymer sculptures.

Multi-layered and tongue-in-cheek, a caveat, a score invites viewers to explore the complexities of identity and queerness through a wide dis-array of references and symbols.

Images courtesy of Singapore Art Museum

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