sweet jesus it’s that one guy again… look away… nothing good is happening here…
SO… It turns out a photography exhibition in Moscow has been shutdown by the organizers of the exhibition after protesters gathered and blocked off the exhibition hall…
The exhibition at the Lumiere Brothers Photography center opened on September 8 and featured photographs by controversial U.S. photographer Jock Sturges. The exhibition included images of partially clad adolescents.
Sturges has been extremely controversial in the United States, and in 1990 his studio was raided by the FBI. A grand jury later declined to indict him in that case.
On September 24, Russian Federation Council member Yelena Mizulina called for the Moscow exhibition to be closed down as a “public demonstration of materials containing child pornography.” She has reportedly asked the prosecutor-general to investigate the exhibition and its organizers.Source: http://www.rferl.org/a/russia-photograhy-exhibition-moscow-sturges-closed-protests/28011647.html
That’s somewhat unsurprising honestly…
When’s the last time you heard anybody go ‘you know who’s really open-minded??? Russia‘
And it’s pretty unsurprising that there’d be protesters. Especially considering the subject matter. And the person.
When’s the last time you heard anybody go ‘you know what’s TOTALLY NOT suspicious??? a photographer who almost solely takes pictures of nude kiddos‘
Anyways, make of this what you will.
There’s always that feeling of unease right before you’re about to search a term that you just know is going to get you put on some government list somewhere… I felt that when searching ‘Jock Sturges’.
What I found turned out to be fairly bland. I was expecting scandalous and disturbing… instead I found some pretty straightforward stuff.
His subjects are nude adolescents and their families, primarily taken at communes in Northern California and at the Atlantic-coast naturist resort CHM Montalivet in Montalivet, France. Much of his work features Californian Misty Dawn, whom he shot from when she was a young child until in her twenties.Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jock_Sturges
Understandable that people would protest isn’t it… Frankly you would’ve thought that the organizers would have just assumed that somebody would get upset.
And if you mainly photograph nude kiddos… I just don’t know how you wouldn’t automatically assume everybody everywhere is going to take at least some issue.
Update (9/30/2016) – Protesting Protesters
Russians are protesting the forced closure of an exhibition of work by a controversial American photographer after vigilante tactics by conservative activists who accused its Moscow organizers of promoting child pornography.
In response to the weekend furor that prevented the display of Jock Sturges’ works at Moscow’s Lumiere Brothers Photography center, Russian theater director Oleg Lipovetsky on September 25 called on compatriots via Facebook to post images of renowned paintings, sculptures, and photographs featuring nudity.Source: http://www.rferl.org/a/russia-sturges-exhibition-closed-social-media/28017133.html
While it’s fair to say that the human form, nude or not, is an important part of art… I have no interest in making any arguments at the moment. Never having seen any of Jock Sturges work first hand, I don’t feel I can say whether or not his work has merit or is… uh… suspicious in nature.
It just all sounds exhausting.
So again… make of this what you will!
Update (10/01/2016) – From Russia with
A man on September 25 was detained at a photo display in Moscow for spraying images with a liquid identified by Russian media as urine. The exhibition showed photos by U.S. photographer Jock Sturges, which included images of nude adolescents. A little-known group calling itself the Officers of Russia blocked the exhibit, which was later closed down amid claims it was “propaganda of pedophilia.”Source: http://www.rferl.org/a/moscow-photo-exhibitions-vasyukovich-loiko-vandalism/28024842.html
Urine! What a weird way to protest photographs of nude kids… spray urine on them. I mean really, who thinks that’s a good idea? ‘Yes let’s totally spray urine on photographs of children that will really prove our point !!!‘
Anyways, I imagine a whole lot of artists and photographers are all kinds of concerned because of this and other incidents. Russia does not seem to currently appreciate anything that is even a bit outside of ‘normal‘ at the moment.
Further reading: Photographic Freedom in Russia (LOL)