MOCA London are to present a solo exhibition from Canadian visual artist Zachari Logan. The exhibition’s title Unkraut vergeht nicht, a German proverb that translates in English to “Weeds don’t vanish” and is double-edged in the context of this exhibition. It is used when someone perseveres against adversity, who does not give up, and in the end succeeds- but it can also liken that person to a weed, a troublesome out of place plant. A weed is something not wanted, that is to be ‘pulled up’. In itself, any plant is perfectly fine, but humans see particular plants as unnecessary because they are not what we desire for our own consumption. Weeds: rather queer little plants are (ironically) understood to be ‘invasive.’ Why do weeds always have to shout their weediness, can’t they just hide in the background, keep to themselves, why do they always have to show off? Logan says that he often draws
These species and the liminal spaces in which they inhabit as stand-ins for the queer body and queer spaces that remain resistant to monocultures and thrive on the margins.
Among other things, Logan’s work questions the structures at play within society that enforce certain exclusivist beliefs, to the detriment of many. For those few, our bodies are all but weeds, out of place, a nuisance- maybe one that is needed to do a job as consumer or worker but held in little or no esteem. Logan reminds us that as weeds, we should hold our heads up high like a bright dandelion growing through a crack.
Logan began his Nomenclature Series at the onset of the Covid pandemic. This was a period of intense introspection for many people around the globe when the contemplation of one’s mortality and impermanence were common currency. Few instances in life will such a major mental shift be forced upon humans so uniformly. This shift was coupled with an equal transformation of timelines that allowed for the deeper observation of self, both personal and societal. Like all good contemporary still life, these works remind the viewer of death, not as something to fear, but as an encouragement to enjoy each and every day of living. For this process, Logan draws directly onto the gallery walls in graphite, only for these gestures to soon to painted over, increasing the viewer’s connection with the temporal realities of a time-based life and the ever-approaching end to it.
In Logan’s own words about this series,
Each individual botanical is named in its rendering, coming into being through the recollection of past observations; a personal classification of visualized memory. These graphite drawings in silhouette are meditations on the ephemeral qualities of existence and perception of time. We are here and then we are gone- a notion the pandemic brought to the fore of my practice in relation to image and material. The drawings are meant to exist physically for a short period of time and then be covered over; in effect to haunt the walls.
At the opening reception of Unkraut vergeht nicht, Zachari Logan and MOCA London have partnered with wearable artist edition brand Old-Age for the release of Logan’s most recent collaboration with the label. Old-Age have created artist edition clothing for Paul Mpagi Sepuya, the Tom Of Finland Store, The Alvin Baltrop Trust and Derek Mainella amongst others.
The Muscle Memory tee features Logan’s own botanically inspired typography, spelling the phrase ‘Muscle Memory’, a multi-layered phrase linking conceptually to this ongoing series of temporary drawings. These tees will be available June 11th and throughout the exhibition.
The Nomenclature drawing series, central to this exhibition, is rendered in graphite though reference to past experiences of looking, observing, drawing and redrawing beyond count, the flora (weeds) that make up the central imagery in this exhibition. Drawing is intimately linked to bodies; the bodies of viewers and of the creator. Zachari Logan
Zachari Logan, Unkraut vergeht nicht, June 11th – July 22nd, MOCA London
About the artist
Zachari Logan is a Canadian artist working mainly in drawing, ceramics and installation practices. His work has been exhibited widely, in group and solo exhibitions throughout North America, Europe and Asia, including: Athens, Amsterdam, Atlanta, Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels, Cincinnati, Chicago, Calgary, Edmonton, Grenoble, Kochi, Halifax, London, Los Angeles, Miami, Milan, Montreal, New York, Ottawa, Regina, Paris, Salo, Saskatoon, Seattle, Schio, Tampa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Verona, Vienna and Yonkers. Logan has attended residencies in Paris in conjunction with Galerie Jean Roch Dard, in rural Tennessee at Sassafras ARC/Liberty, in Calgary through Alberta College of Art + Design: Visiting Artist Program, in Vienna several times through both the Museum Quartier’s quartier21: Artist in Residence Program and project space Schliefmuhlgasse 12-14, and in London at Angus-Hughes Gallery. In the spring of 2015 Logan attended the International Studio and Curatorial Program (ISCP), and returned to NYC during the winter of 2016 as artist in residence at Wave Hill Botanical Gardens in the Bronx. During the summer of 2017, Logan was Artist in Residence in the Tom Thomson Shack on the site of the McMichael Canadian Art Collection; part of a special commission to create a work in responses to the centenary of Thomson’s death. Logan has also worked collaboratively with several artists, including Ross Bleckner and Sophie Calle. In 2014 Logan received the Lieutenant Governors Award for emerging artist, in 2015 an Alumni of Influence Award from the University of Saskatchewan, and in 2016 Logan was long-listed for the Sobey Award.? Logan has received numerous grants from the Saskatchewan Arts Board, Creative Saskatchewan and Canada Council for the Arts and in 2016, received a Peter S. Reed Foundation Grant (NY).?
Works by Zachari Logan are found in private and public collections worldwide: including the National Gallery of Canada, Art Gallery of Ontario, Remai Modern, Leslie-Lohman Museum (NYC), Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art (NMOCA), McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Mackenzie Art Gallery, 21cMuseums Hotel Collection, Louisville KY, Scarfone-Hartley Gallery at the University of Tampa, Morris & Helen Belkin Art Gallery: University of British Columbia, Toronto Dominion (TD Trust), Cadillac Fairview, Schulich School of Buisness, York University, Kenderdine/College Galleries, Canada Council Art Bank, Saskatchewan Arts Board, Global Affairs Canada & Thetis Foundazione (Venice) among others.
Giving has been a core value of the OLD – AGE brand since its inception, donating a portion of our profits to a rotating group of charities. Since we established the brand in 2018, we have given to The Southern Poverty Law Center, Human Rights Watch and Trussell Trust. A portion of the proceeds from these two t-shirt editions will go to MOCA London. Old Age Label