“Burden” (2017) is a hand carved sculptural work which focusses on the global health crisis of tuberculosis and is part of Anna Dumitriu’s Romantic Disease series. Made with carved Zimbabwean lemon opal stone and fruit stone, embroidered calico dyed with madder root (used as an ancient treatment for TB), and impregnated with TB DNA. Tuberculosis currently infects around one third of the world’s population, mainly in low to middle income countries and Westerners often perceive it as a disease of history. However increasing drug resistance may mean that the disease could have an equally big impact on countries where it is percieved to have been almost eradicated. The artist carved the work whilst in conversation with a Zimbawean artist about the powerful impact of the disease on his country and his family.
The work is part of Anna Dumitriu’s project “The Romantic Disease“, which investigates mankind’s strange relationship with the Tuberculosis, from early superstitions about the disease, through the development of antibiotics, to the latest research into whole genome sequencing of bacteria