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M1 Singapore Fringe Fest pulls exhibition from line-up

SINGAPORE — Transgender artist Marla Bendini’s solo exhibition Tracks has been pulled from next year’s M1 Singapore Fringe Festival line-up because it could not meet the licensing deadline, organisers announced in a statement released today (Dec 29).

From Marla Bendini's Tracks. Photo courtesy of the artist.

From Marla Bendini's Tracks. Photo courtesy of the artist.

SINGAPORE — Transgender artist Marla Bendini’s solo exhibition Tracks has been pulled from next year’s M1 Singapore Fringe Festival line-up because it could not meet the licensing deadline, organisers announced in a statement released today (Dec 29).

The show, which was described as a “cartographic representation of Singapore” using portraits of the artist in various public space, was scheduled to be presented at Objectifs throughout the duration of the festival, which runs from Jan 13 to 24.

Tracks, which plays with the notion of “tranimal” in line with the festival’s Art & The Animal theme, was supposed to be a development from her previous works, including a 2014 exhibition at Grey Projects in conjunction with Singapore’s LGBT festival IndigNation.

TODAY understands that the Media Development Authority’s (MDA) Arts Entertainment Licence for events and activities also extends to art exhibitions in public venues, with certain exemptions such as those organised by institutions such as the Esplanade, LASALLE College of the Arts or Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts. Neither the festival nor the exhibition venue fall under the exemption.

Speaking to TODAY, festival artistic director Sean Tobin said they were unable to meet the submission deadline for the show to go up in time. “It has nothing to do with the subject matter. She had done a lot of development work for the show and we were supportive of it. But it just wasn’t going to be ready in time and we wouldn’t have sufficient solid information to submit to MDA, so we had no choice but to (pull it from the line-up),” he said.

“We can’t promise that it will be put up by us (in the future) but we do hope that the work will happen at some other time soon. She still has the intention of developing it.”

For her part, Bendini told TODAY that her show was “not ready to be publicly exhibited”. She added that she will be taking part in a group show at LASALLE College of the Arts in February.

“I would like to thank the M1 Fringe Festival team, (exhibiton mentor) Jason Wee and Objectifs for their utmost support, guidance and love through this process. See you at the festival,” she said.

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