The April cover of Modern Painters came out with a cover on Art & War at the same time that US artist Steve Kurtz's case finally got thrown out of court. He was cleared of FBI suspicions of bio-terrorism for growing bacteria in petri dishes as part of his art work - 4 years later!
Don't get me wrong. It is encouraging to see the mainstream art media finally covering art produced in response to the Iraq War. Better late than never I guess, but I cant' help thinking a lot of artists like Steve Kurtz could have done with this years ago. Many artists have taken the brunt of anti-terrorism campaigns against artists and creativity within the so-called "anglosphere" countries.
Modern Painters' April issue features this subject and that is a very healthy sign, but let's not forget the artists like Kurtz who have lost more than career and reputations in a social climate that rivals the McCarthyism of the 1950s. Wouldn't it be great if we read the other half of the story?
Covers like Modern Painter don't nearly describe the price that many have had to pay for their artistic expressions in the climate of fear. It's important to read more about how the Kurtz case went wrong. After all, the laws that made it happen still exist. Visit Critical Art Ensemble Defence Fund. Kurtz's case make me read cover stories like April's Modern Painter in a different light.