Sociocritical cribs

Peacecrip (1985)

The artist breaks new ground with this extraordinary work of a sociocritical crib.

The crib is no longer the soothing vision of a child bedded on straw, but a sociocritical portrayal of our way of life today. This work raises questions and forces the viewer to reflect. It presents different elements related to the capitalist system. This work is over 25 years old and still as relevant as ever!

The scourges of society take shape in the various figures.  

On the left side:


The worker is in a bad mood and depressed because he has been dismissed.

The torn family:

The children wander around aimlessly, they are neither inside nor outside. They feel left alone because their parents separate. The mother only has strolling and shopping in mind while the father seems to be stressed by his work and the need to earn money at all cost.

On the right:

The third world, poverty:

The sitting lady is a mother who has lost her child because she did not have the money to feed it.


The man with the cigar wants everything, he destroys the emerald green forests and knows no scruples. He tramples on everyone else to succeed. Only money counts for him. That is pure greed for power.

In the middle:


It is present in this crib and offers the prospect of a more peaceful future. The tree stumps, sources of new life, remind us of our origins: the earth!

The cultural mix:

We are all brothers and sisters who come from the same family. The children - of different ethnic groups and countries - have all come together to play with a snake.
Donkey: Why a snake? This animal stands for evil, doesn't it?   Ox: Right, but here evil has no more power! The children are free to play with the snake without worrying, as the prophet Isaiah said:
"The infant will play with the patterned viper, grasp the little child with his hand into the hole of the otter."(11- 8)


Jesus Christ is born and his Father, Joseph, frees the world. He removes the barbed wires of the earth, he frees them from evil. Joseph stands for all fathers who would change the world to protect their family.

Marie Therese JUNG, Mönchengladbach (D) Figures made of synthetic wax, different fabrics

The dream of the angels

Another atypical crib denounces the exaggerated build-up of arms.

"The angel's dream".

Here as well, the artist, Berta Kals from Aachen, who unfortunately died, tries to convey a message and does not limit herself to a simple observation. In the dream of the angels, weapons become musical instruments that intonate a heavenly melody. The text written by the artist's husband complements the ensemble and invites the viewer to reflect on Christmas, the symbol of peace.

The rocket SS and Pershing-2 become, in the dream of the angels, a bench for the mother and a cradle for the divine child. The rifles become flutes and children's toys. The tanks change into organs on which one can play Bach's fugues. The cannons become violoncellos on which one plays pieces of music. The patron belts, in the dream of the angels, become panpipes and the grenades become oboes whose romantic melodies go to the heart. The rockets morph into harps that play love songs." The nativity scene actually dates back to the Cold War, but when you consider the countless warlike conflicts that take place today and the billions of euros spent on weapons, it has lost none of its topicality.