No Embarrassment (exhibition)
Artist: Jock Sturges
Date of Action: September 2016
Region: Russia and Central Asia
Location: Moscow, Russia
Confronting Bodies: pro-Kremlin Senators, men from Officers of Russia
Description of Artwork: Controversial U.S. photographer, Jock Sturges's series of photos entitled, "No Embarrassment," captures life in nudist colonies. The work included a number of nude photos of young girls, which violated Russia's laws against child pornography.
The Incident: The Lumber Brothers Center for Photography, a private gallery in Moscow, hosted the exhibition, but there were many negative responses to the controversial work. Senator Yelena Mizulina said that the exhibition included images of young girls in the nude, which qualified as child abuse and pedophilia. Anna Kuznetsova, presidential ombudsman for children's rights requested an investigation of the exhibition by prosecutors. Sturges said that all of the photos were taken with consent of both the models and their parents, but this confirmation was not enough to stop many from objecting to the material. The exhibit was invaded by a group of men from Officers of Russia, an organization which is comprised of 100,000 veteran and active officers. One of the men threw urine at the photos as a sign of protest.
Results of Incident: In order to avoid controversy, the Lumber Brothers Center ultimately decided to prematurely end the exhibition. Jock Sturges was surprised and upset by the decision to censor his art.