ARTIST Jacob Waites
ABOUT THE PIECE
Duchenne is a experiential piece that emulates the human condition of someone afflicted with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) for the viewer. Inherited genetically through a deletion mutation of the DNA that makes up the Dystrophin gene, the disease is often diagnosed at an early age, the blocks appear as those of children. These are arranged into the sequence of the genetic code for the Dystrophin gene. The holes inside of the code are the deletions that cause the disease. The message, "You have been forced to carry such a heavy burdens", describes the inability of the afflicted individual to complete quotidian tasks, The small lifespan of DMD patients, and the fact that the disease is caused by a currently untreatable and random mutation. While the average viewer cannot relate to a sequence of letters, as is presented on the front of the piece, they can relate to the words on the rear, describing hardships that everyone experiences.
A WEIGHT TO CARRY
Upon picking up the childrens blocks on the floor below the piece, the viewer realizes that they are much heavier than expected, simulating DMD as they attempt to fit the block into a slot on the piece. These fabricated blocks are filled with lead and cement, weighing a considerable amount while maintaining a deceptively light appearance.