Matadero Madrid center for contemporary creation

From January to April 2024

Daniel Cao

Gatos Montessori (Montessori cats)

“Whoever looks attentively and compares the human species without prejudice, first, to the beings that live in the wild, and then to our domestic animals, cannot doubt for a moment that man is a domesticated being.” Konrad Lorenz, The Domestication of Man (1965), from the chapter “Studies in animal and human behaviour”.

Gatos Montessori begins with a comparison between the design and creation of toys and furniture for domestic cats (both industrially and amateur), and toys and furniture for children designed and created for the Montessori educational method (usually handmade and with natural and ecological materials). The project focuses on the fact that family models in today's society are very diverse. Whether due to economic reasons or simple desire, family configuration does not always revolve around a conventional concept. Sometimes pets are incorporated as just another member of the family and, in many cases, according to the artist, “replace children”. Thus, multispecies families appear, in which the catchildren or dogkids establish themselves as the family epicentre and would be the reflection of a new reality.

Daniel Cao. Managua/Barcelona, 1995. As a creator, he is interested in capturing and translating the topics he investigates into image-stories, tales or different artistic forms, together with the relationships that wander through his imagination. In his projects he begins from an idea or germinal concept containing the topic of each work, which he then links with the context and territory to execute it. He considers the works as meeting points for his references (including, notably, science fiction, video games, biology, technology, extraterrestrial speculation, etc., or the relationship between feline pets and education). His projects use various formats and employ photographic images, installation, sound, performance, sculpture and/or multimedia environments.