Make Tofu Not War, 2018

Installation view: The Ecologies of Peace. Works from the TBA21 Collection, Centro de Creación Contemporánea de Andalucía C3A, Córdoba, Spain, 2024. Photo: Imagen Subliminal (Rocio Romero y Miguel de Guzmán).

3D Wool tapestry
293 x 447 cm

The first of a new series of 3D tapestries designed by Goshka Macuga features an imaginary scene in an old forest possibly in the north of Europe where a group of people dressed as animals (wolf, reindeer and a polar bear) appear to have gathered together after their participation in a protest. Their banners seem to respond to environmental issues as well as political ones. The landscape in the far background reveals the biblical reference of the Tower of Babel which, when coupled with the animals and the water is also suggestive of Noah’s Ark and a vision of the possible future. Futuristic references such as the use of a 3D effect and the space program through the inclusion of the cosmonaut and the space capsule; when placed alongside manifestations of today’s environmental and political debates in the form of protest banners creates a confusion in the temporality of the scene. The 3D effect mimics a past understanding of an image of the future as seen through sci-fi design and imagery while the use of animals refers to a long tradition of depicting animals to represent or symbolise human characteristics, in particular in 19th century cartoons published in magazine editorials, animals were featured as political symbols and thus had the power to influence voters by distilling complex ideas into more compressible and humorous representation. The banners also reference stories such as Orwell’s Animal Farm and Aesop’s Fables, where animals played the protagonists in the narrative, embodying particular traits of humans The protesters, rather than being animals, are humans dressed in animal clothing mimicking other species and engaging in what communications scholar Kevin De Luca calls’ “disidentification” with accepted social values of progress and the domination of the human over nature. By identifying with the non-human in the form of animals, they also “disidentify” with the destruction of our natural environment and animal suffering caused by humans. These animal protesters can also be seen to relate to the ‘Furry fandom’ movement. Furry fandom traces its origins to a science fiction convention in 1980 where it claimed to unite it’s members in finding a place of belonging. Make Tofu not War is not aiming to represent the past, present or the future but rather opens up a platform to speculate about many possible ideas and outcomes of today’s current landscape.


Group exhibition: Diversity United. Contemporary Art of Europe. Moscow. Berlin. Paris
Venue: Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
Curators: Walter Smerling and others
November 23, 2021  - March 9, 2022

Group exhibition: Diversity Unity. Contemporary Art of Europe. Moscow. Berlin. Paris
Venue: Tempelhof Berlin
Institution: Stiftung Kunst und Kultur Bonn
Curators: Walter Smerling and others
June 8, 2021  - October 10, 2021

*1967 in Warsaw, Poland I Living and working in London, United Kingdom