ZACHARI LOGAN

mimic

 

February 14th - March  21, 2020

Zachari Logan, The Waiting, blue pencil on mylar

Drawings in this exhibition continue Logan’s exploration of figuration, landscape and
overlapping art-historic motifs; evolving self-referential narratives that intersect identity,
memory and place. Here Logan re-wilds his body as an expression of queerness, engaging the
social and practical realities of adornment and mimicry. This process is celebratory, professing
freedom, and the desire for equanimity, while on the other hand, it is also an expression of
confinement, concealment and perhaps self-deception. Extending the self-portrait to the dramatic
is a strategy Logan revisits often.


Compositionally, several of the works in Mimic reference Baroque painter Giuseppe
Arcimboldo, who painted portraits and figures combining flora, fauna and other materials
personifying seasons, and other natural phenomena. Plants Become Human Heart , 2 3, and 4 are
amalgams, romantic gestures, symbolizing transformation. The mimicry of shapes here is a
figurative enhancement. In this way Logan works to dissolve the ego with images from natural
phenomenon, such as in the migration of monarch butterflies covering so much of a tree that its
branches can tear off.


Both plants and animals seek Darwinian fitness, at times adapting in order to survive by looking
like another object or species; mimicry as an evolutionary strategy. The use of mimicry in
Logan’s drawings suggests something altogether different: an attempt to evade self-
characterization, categorization; an attempt to shape ideas of self and other in the midst of
ecological disaster wrought by humanity; an attempt to break or wake up from the ecocidal
dream of anthropocentric isolation from other beings in the biosphere.


Nature creates similarities. One need only think of mimicry. The highest capacity for producing
similarities, however, is man’s.  His gift of seeing resemblances is nothing other than a rudiment of the
powerful compulsion in former times to become and behave like something else.  Perhaps there is none of his higher functions in which his mimetic faculty does not play a decisive role.


— Walter Benjamin, “On the Mimetic Faculty” 1933

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