Bébés Domestiques

The Bébés Domestiques, sculptures made of silicone, are genetic hybrids, halfway between human children and dogs. They probe the boundaries, ever shifting over time, between man and animal, as well as the anthromorphization of pets in our contemporary societies.
In the course of performances entitled "Adoption Days", Prune Nourry and her team of "nannies" roam the streets of London and Brussels, in search of ideal families for adoption.


The boundary between humans and animals changes over time. During the colonial exhibitions, humans were shown in zoos. In the 1940s in Guatemala, the United States used humans as guinea pigs for medical experiments. Nazis considered certain minorities as Untermenschen (lesser-men) and practiced methodical extermination of those populations.

During Adoption Day events in Brussels (2008) and London (2007), Nourry and a team of other “nannies” took to the streets, each with a Bébé sculpture in tow, to distribute “adoption forms” to strangers passing by. Participants filled out the forms, describing their home environments and why they were interested in “adopting.” At the end of the day, the nannies reviewed the forms and made a small selection of the most appropriate adoptive families. In a series of Family Portraits, the artist then documented the chosen families as they welcomed their new addition into their homes. In other Bébés Domestiques performances in Paris, New York, and Tokyo, Nourry recorded the reactions of passers-by and fellow child and pet caretakers who encountered her Bébés displayed randomly in public settings.

The experiment blurs the line between the customary roles of spectator and actor, and becomes an interesting anthropological study, with reactions differing from one individual to the other depending on their origin and personal experiences. Sculptures and documentary installations from the Bébés Domestiques series have been exhibited at Art Brussels (2008), the Elaine Levy Gallery (2009) in Brussels, and at Wooster on Spring (2006) in New York. They have been adopted in Paris, London, Brussels, Tokyo, and New York.

Bébés Domestiques 2006-2008



Adoption Day in Brussels