Photo exhibition returns to Moscow after child pornography charges dropped

Photo exhibition returns to Moscow after child pornography charges dropped
Anette and Auregann Monalivet. From Absence of Shame by Jock Sturges

27 November 2017

Work by acclaimed US photographer Jock Sturges is set to return to Moscow after being cleared of child pornography charges.

Sturges’s exhibition, Absence of Shame, was forced to close just two weeks after opening at Moscow’s Lumiere Brothers' Center for Photography in September 2016.

Russian officials accused Sturges of promoting child pornography by exhibiting images of naked adolescents with their families at nudist colonies in Ireland, France and California.

Nationalist activists blocked the entrance to Sturges's show and Russian prosecutors launched a full investigation.

In a statement, the Lumiere Brothers’ Center said that government experts were unable to find anything illegal in Sturges's work, instead confirming that the images reached “the very highest artistic standards.”

“The investigation lasted almost a year and was only completed very recently,” the gallery said. “Prosecutors were not convinced by complaints from 13 concerned citizens who had never visited the exhibition, nor the positions of [Russian senator] Yelena Mizulina and children's ombundswoman Anna Kuznetsova, who has also never seen the photos.”

The new exhibition — Absence of Shame 2.0 — will include a special section dedicated to the scandal, displaying newspaper excerpts, photos, and documents from the criminal investigation.

Absence of Shame 2.0 will run at the Lumiere Brothers' Center for Photography from 8 December to 8 January. For more information (in Russian) click here.