Goshka Macuga, From Gondwana to Endangered, Who is the Devil Now? (2020) is the latest iteration of Goshka Macuga's large-scale 3D tapestry series, which deals with environmental problems we are currently facing as part of the Anthropocene. The work shows a piece of forest on fire, which recalls the multitude of devastating forest fires the world have had to endure in recent years. The fabric's perspectival 3D effect virtually pulls us into the scene, making us part of the inferno. Protesting animals dressed as humans try to escape the fire that would constitute their certain death and their species' possible extinction. The animal protesters are reminiscent of both the furry fandom subculture of the 1980s and nineteenth-century political animal caricatures. They humorously and critically denounce today's fire-and-brimstone politics as if we were already knee-deep in purgatory.
Natural Transformation is the exhibition's title—a warning signal of sorts, not only insinuating human-made climate change but also hinting at Category Theory, a mathematical branch in which 'natural transformation' creates new possibilities: an approach that Goshka Macuga pursues both in the new tapestry series and in the collages from the series 'Discrete Model', which she has been working on since 2018. In the collages, Macuga lets us peek at the history of humankind, technological advancement, and into a posthuman future. The visual sequences appearing as if woven behind graph-paper grid are representative of the environmental crisis confronting us today. This interest in systematising different disciplines of knowledge and creating a method similar to computer programming that allows Macuga to reconstruct groups of visual references in recurring patterns, is also evident in a new cycle of small-format tapestry works. In an act of destruction and recontextualisation, using the systemic process of silkscreen printing, the artist creates woven and printed one-of-a-kind works from fragments of previously woven tapestries.
Press release courtesy Galerie Rüdiger Schöttle.