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Undressing Room

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Participant 18: Anonymous
(Completed on 28th March 2017, Singapore)

1) What is your view on IMDA and its classification?
I think IMDA serves as a vehicle to control content out of the guise of safety. However their framework do come across as a very backwards and close-minded. When I watch work overseas, I tend to wonder why I don’t see such work in Singapore. Then I realized… oh, IMDA…

IMDA’s classification is not important to me. Unless I’m bringing students or children to see a show, then I would look out for the ratings. 

2) How did you feel about IMDA’s denial of classification for Undressing Room, on the grounds that it contained ‘excessive nudity’?
Nudity is nudity. What is ‘excessive nudity’? It doesn’t make sense. After my participation, I think it should be classified as R18.

3) What was your reaction to Undressing Room being withdrawn from the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival, after it was denied a classification by IMDA?
I felt very bad for the artist. Being an artist myself, I understand the frustration when external forces put an oppressive cap on your expression. I was also very disappointed to know that the society I live in is still so backwards. Sometimes what I call home really breaks my heart, just when I’m hopeful that we’re progressing we take ten steps back. 

Also the I completely disagree with the pornography sentiment. Art can be a lot of things… but calling it sloppy, slapdash, one track minded “pornography” is just so boring!

4) Why did you decide to take part in the revived Undressing Room, despite the controversy surrounding it?
Because I wanted to experience something beautiful and vulnerable. I had no expectations. I just wanted to be there and be present.

5) What were your thoughts or concerns regarding your participation in Undressing Room, a work that had not been approved by IMDA?
It didn’t even cross my mind that it could potentially violate any laws. I placed a lot of trust in the artist and in the festival artistic director, Sean Tobin. I knew I was going to see something of value.

As audiences, we sometimes forget our power. We get to choose so many things, even before we step into a performance, i.e., find out content, context, performer(s), purchasing tickets. And if something doesn’t feel right or safe, walk out, report it etc. I think I can make decisions on work that’s not been approved by IMDA. 

6) How did IMDA’s decision affect your participation or experience of Undressing Room?
Well, for one, I’m excited to be the few who still got to see the show. But it didn’t affect my participation or experience. 

7) Other comments.
I do hope when they gave that rating, they actually had a chance to experience Undressing Room. If they gave that rating based on hearsay, then I think it’s absolutely dumb.