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Undressing Room

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Participant 8: Anonymous
(Completed on 13th February 2017, Singapore)

1) What is your view on IMDA and its classification?
IMDA is essentially a government media/digital body that is guided by social norms. For me, its classification is not important at all. I’m an adult, I should be able to make my own judgement. The classification, however, will be useful for those who don’t read up about a performance, or want to find something family/child-friendly to attend.

2) How did you feel about IMDA’s denial of classification for Undressing Room, on the grounds that it contained ‘excessive nudity’?
I would stick to the 21 rating. What is excessive nudity anyway? Either you’re nude or not (ok, maybe partially). But there’s no excessive nudity unless we can peel off some layers of our skin. Again, adults should be given the choice to decide and that’s what the 21 rating serves to do – only adults can have the choice to attend.

3) What was your reaction to Undressing Room being withdrawn from the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival, after it was denied a classification by IMDA?
In fact, I was surprised it didn’t get pulled earlier. The fact that the performance was included in the Festival and received publicity was already a decent shot out of the authority’s comfort zone. So it didn’t raise my eyebrow when the show got pulled after I purchased a ticket. I felt that the powers were being extremely careful about what they considered art, even though there can never be a defining parameter when it comes to art. But if we want to be all rational and objective, then yes, I can understand why they did what they did.

4) Why did you decide to take part in the revived Undressing Room, despite the controversy surrounding it?
Its withdrawal from the Festival didn’t change my motivation to attend it. Other than experiencing close proximity with a visually-pleasing warm body, I wanted to simply embrace nudity. Full nudity is a very personal space, so I’d like to see if I could remain nonchalant when another person invades or adds to the space, or whether I would react to another naked body in ways that my hormones are conditioned to. And if it was the latter, how that panned out or got controlled in an experiential performance like the Undressing Room.

5) What were your thoughts or concerns regarding your participation in Undressing Room, a work that had not been approved by IMDA?
The ban didn’t read to me as a violation of laws, more of a potential social unacceptance. The ban (still) didn’t matter to me. It just made attending it more cumbersome, having to get Sistic’s* notification and then find out about the non-funded show. But it definitely aroused me and got more of my attention. 

*Sistic: ticketing service 

6) How did IMDA’s decision affect your participation or experience of Undressing Room?
I understand why the ban was in place but a 18 or 21 classification would have meant that adults will still make their own decision about whether to participate or not. Even those who decide to participate and feel disgusted during the performance have the choice to walk out.

7) Other comments.
In a nutshell, I would participate in this again, regardless of the classification.