From: Chuck Kleinhans (email suppressed)
Date: Mon Apr 21 2008 - 23:04:10 PDT
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 21, 2008
Email: email suppressed
Edmund Cardoni: (716) 854-1694
Lucia Sommer: (716) 359-3061
JUDGE DISMISSES MAIL FRAUD CASE AGAINST BIO-ARTIST KURTZ
Buffalo, NY—A process that has taken nearly four years may be coming
to an end. On Monday, April 21, Federal Judge Richard J. Arcara ruled
to dismiss the indictment against University at Buffalo Professor of
Visual Studies Dr. Steven Kurtz.
In June 2004, Professor Kurtz was charged with two counts of mail
fraud and two counts of wire fraud stemming from an exchange of $256
worth of harmless bacteria with Dr. Robert Ferrell, Professor of
Human Genetics at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of
Dr. Kurtz planned to use the bacteria in an educational art exhibit
about biotechnology with his award-winning art and theater
collective, Critical Art Ensemble.
Professor Kurtz's lawyer, Paul Cambria, said that his client was
"pleased and relieved that this ordeal may be coming to an end."
The prosecution has the right to appeal this dismissal. How the
prosecution will proceed is unknown at this time. If an appeal were
undertaken the case would move to the New York Second Circuit Court
of Appeals in New York City.
Lucia Sommer, Coordinator of the CAE Defense Fund, which raises funds
for Kurtz’ legal defense, said, "We are all grateful that after
reviewing this case, Judge Arcara took appropriate action." She added
that “this decision is further testament to our original statements
that Dr. Kurtz is completely innocent and never should have been
charged in the first place."
BACKGROUND ON DR. STEVEN KURTZ AND CRITICAL ART ENSEMBLE
Critical Art Ensemble (which Kurtz co-founded in 1987 with Steven
Barnes) has won numerous awards for its bio-art, including the
prestigious 2007 Andy Warhol Foundation Wynn Kramarsky Freedom of
Artistic Expression Grant, honoring more than two decades of
distinguished work. The group has been commissioned to exhibit and
perform in many of the world's cultural institutions—including the
London Museum of Natural History; The ICA, London; the Whitney Museum
and the New Museum in NYC; the Corcoran Museum of Art in Washington,
DC; Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt; Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de
Paris; der Volksbüne, Berlin; ZKM, Karlsruhe; El Matadero, Madrid;
Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki; Museo de Arte Carrilo Gil,
Mexico City and many more.
For more information about the case, please visit: caedefensefund.org
For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.