Eva & Franco Mattes Works Exhibitions About

 

 

Bonsai Kitten (2021)

Based on an internet phenomenon, Bonsai Kitten is a sculpture of a taxidermy cat inside a glass jar.

 

 

Eva & Franco Mattes, Bonsai Kitten

 

 

 

Eva & Franco Mattes, Bonsai Kitten

 

 

The piece takes inspiration from a controversial hoax website that provided instructions on how to raise a kitten in a jar, molding its bones to fit the shape of the container. The cat would theoretically grow slowly into form, much like the pruning and shaping of a bonsai plant.

 

 

 

 

Soon after the creation of the original Bonsai Kitten website in 2000, animal rights activists raised concern. The protests and calls for censorship eventually caused so much uproar that even the FBI launched an investigation into the website.

 

 

Eva & Franco Mattes, Bonsai Kitten

 

 

Despite the story having been debunked countless times, petitions are still circulating to shut down this website. In a way, the attacks against it only contributed to its notoriety and permanence. Mirrors of the site only multiplied, contributing to an endless, self-fueled chain reaction of misunderstanding and obfuscation. In this sense, does the Bonsai Kitten embody a metaphor for internet culture itself?

 

 

Eva & Franco Mattes, Bonsai Kitten

 

 

In our version, the cat is leaning on a Manfrotto autopole—which is typically used for photoshoots—in order to suggest the staged and “photogenic” nature of the sculpture.

 

 

Eva & Franco Mattes, Bonsai Kitten

 

 

 

Eva & Franco Mattes, Bonsai Kitten

Installed at Kunstverein Wiesbaden