Artist Projects

The Census Taker


Jesse Ball

The Census Taker is a travel-narrative about a retired doctor who travels north conducting the census with his adult son, a man with Down Syndrome. Melding fiction and non-fiction, the book will consist of a series of sections, each a discrete visit to a house or a rumination that the census taker has regarding his past life. The text will be interwoven with photographs of the author’s brother, who had Down Syndrome and died at the age of 25. Through The Census Taker, Ball will imagine what his brother would have been like had he lived into adulthood, presenting a portrait of what it means to know and love a person with Down Syndrome that runs counter to our culture’s representations of the condition.