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Prune Nourry - The Future of People

Words:

Edd Norval
April 26, 2021

Usually an artist will find a medium they like to use and then explore various themes through their preferred method. That isn’t the case with multi-disciplinary artist Prune Nourry, who utilises many different platforms to take a deep-dive into one particular theme.

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Working mainly in sculpture, the French artist supplements her works with film, photography and performance. Focussing on human selection, she picks apart the fine details of bioethics, understanding the physical and natural limitations of the human body and how science can, can’t, should and shouldn’t interfere. 


Focussing on the premise of an artificial mankind with the subsequent consequences, Nourry’s work feels both futuristic and equally prescient. The art itself has the kind of surreal science-fiction that you'd expect to see in a film. That is to say, her creations are largely of a scientific nature, with recurring technological features becoming a mainstay of her philosophical discourse.


The thinking behind her pieces is far more grounded in the human than the machine though. Utilising sociology and anthropology, the artist explores how humankind perceives and reacts to the rapid state of technological growth - particularly orientated towards reproduction and the body. 

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For Nourry, we are at a crucial axis in human development, where the natural is becoming subsidized by the artificial and it’s at this contentious crossroads that her creations gravitate towards. 


This artistic arena of thought came scarily close to real life when in 2016 the artist was diagnosed with breast cancer and faced many of the subjects she had been fascinated by up until that point. Only now, it was a situation of life and death. Having survived this, the artist is now eager to communicate a sense of balance and harmony in her work.


Whilst many artists working on thematically similar pieces would go full futurist, or dystopian critic, the French multimedia artist broaches the subject with a truly deft touch. With such subtlety, her works do not confront, but rather persuade us to consider what our future looks like. More importantly than that, we are forced to think about what we will look like, should her visions become a reality. 

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