Like many museums around the world, Remai Modern has closed as part of a broad response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although our program has been suspended, artists remain at the forefront of our thoughts. The museum has reached out to artists involved in our programming to gather their perspectives on the experience of these unprecedented times.
Questionnaire – Zachari Logan
Thursday, April 23, 2020. 6:19 PM
1. Where are you? What can you tell us about your current living situation, or the conditions in your neighbourhood/city?
I’m in Regina and lucky to have both of my studios just blocks from my home, although I’m seldom there these days—preferring to work from home mostly. I live right downtown and it’s very quiet, but I’ve noticed more rabbits than usual lately, and geese are taking over the streets. I love it—wildness returns!! I’ll be back at the studio this week pretty intensely working on a larger pastel and some ceramics.
2. How are you continuing your practice during this time?
Well, as I mentioned above, I’m still able to work both from home and in the studio, but all of my exhibition and residency projects in 2020 have been postponed. For example, were it not for the pandemic, I would be currently on a residency in the Bulgarian Mountains working towards an exhibition organized by Little Bird Place, an exhibition and residency program in Sofia Bulgaria focusing on art and artists working with issues of ecology. They invited me to come do a residency in the small village of Leshten near the Greek border and exhibit the resulting research in the project space in Sofia. Last week I’d have also been in Vienna for a drawing performance at 12-14 Contemporary. Outside of my already committed projects I’ve been drawing feverishly, reacting to the moment, not out of distress over isolation, I crave isolation, but the foreboding feeling that sometimes hovers over this specific moment. I’ve been reacting to this with humour in a series of text-based drawings and, with a very melancholic tone, in another series based on experiential landscapes and confinement.
3. What things or ideas are you finding comfort in right now?
Saskatchewan has unparalleled light. I am finding particular comfort in the light of day. The times of day being marked by the movement of light around both my apartment and my studio. This is something I’m now paying rapt attention to in a way I did not before, likely because I was enslaved to the clock in a way I’m not these days. I was looking at a device to decipher my days, I’m now just looking at the walls. I certainly don’t feel like I’m losing time—at least not yet—just leaving it behind as I go along.
4. What artworks, music, books, or films have been in your mind during this time?
I’ve been looking at a ton of art books on artists from every period. In particular, I’ve been thinking about two exhibitions I saw last year. One is the Hilma af Klint at Guggenheim. So I’m going through the catalogue quite a bit lately, and just reabsorbing. The other is, The Young and Evil: Queer Modernism in New York, 1930-1955 curated by Jared Earnest at David Zwirner, of which I finally received the catalogue and am now revisiting. I’m reading Robert Burton’s The Anatomy of Melancholy, Grimm’s Fairy Tales, the poems of Anne Sexton, and doing some writing too. I have also been watching a lot of BBC Documentaries.
5. What are you letting go of? What are you holding on to?
I’m not quite sure yet. This is a very strange, profound time. I’m trying to hold onto the silence and the mania that is both equally circling. I’m also holding onto the abundance of time I have with my husband and our lovely cat Asherah. Not letting go of anything just yet.
6. What are you looking forward to?
I’m looking forward to travelling again for work, it is an integral extension of my studio practice. I am looking forward to curating again this year too. I’m organizing an exhibition of contemporary Canadian drawing, alongside a solo exhibition of my own drawings this fall at New Art Projects, my UK gallery in London (which will very well end up starting as a digital/printed matter project). I am also looking forward to the release of the catalogue for my show with Ross Bleckner, The Shadow of The Sun, to be released later this year.
Zachari Logan is a Canadian artist best known for his large-scale drawings, ceramics and installations that explore the intersections between masculinity, identity, memory and place. He has exhibited widely in group and solo exhibitions throughout North America, Europe and Asia.
His work is held in many private and public collections including Remai Modern, where it was recently presented in the exhibition LoSt+FoUnD. He is preparing for a residency and exhibition with Little Bird Place Contemporary Projects, Bulgaria.