Virtual Exhibition – Leonard Cohenau
Inspired by its eponymous exhibition Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything, presented in 2017-2018, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (MAC) presents a new, virtual exhibition, whose sensory, immersive selection of works explore contemporary art through the vibrant lens of Leonard Cohen’s creative universe.
The exhibition examines the embracing, universal themes that define Leonard Cohen’s oeuvre and their connective tissue with contemporary art by assembling fifty or so works from the MAC’s permanent collection, as well as the works and songs from the original exhibition, which remains one of the museum’s most highly attended and popular show ever.
Fully bilingual and accessible.
Freely available online until February 12, 2024.
Available in Canada only.
The exhibition is divided into four main themes that are omnipresent in Cohen’s body of work: Poetic Thought, Spirituality & Humility, Love and Loss & Longing. Visitors can chart their own online journey, choosing to enjoy the show’s abundant documentary resources either by heading to the Explore section, or by selecting individual works or artists in the Gallery section. Each section offers the viewer an alternative access to the exhibition’s vast content, some of which is unique to this online edition; hundreds of images, audio and video extracts, artists’ quotes and biographies, as well as songs, interviews, poems and self-portraits by Cohen.
Giving the audience a voice
The exhibition underscores the evocative and extensive power of the spoken and written word in Cohen’s work. To this end, the section Echo gathers the personal accounts and firsthand reactions of the audience, collated in audio and written format. Indeed, we invite the public to continue sharing their impressions on social media using the hashtag #cohenetmoi
Finally, the section Context offers the viewer a presentation of the virtual exhibition itself, an introduction to its main themes and artists, as well as ten pivotal biographical moments in the life of Leonard Cohen.
The exhibition is co-curated by John Zeppetelli, Director General and Chief Curator of the MAC, and Victor Shiffman, guest curator.
Management and development, MAC
Anne-Marie Zeppetelli, Project Manager, Cindy Veilleux, Coordination and Data Management, Etienne Desautels, Programmer Analyst
Creative direction for website design and programming
The MAC wishes to thank the late Leonard Cohen, who in 2015 generously consented to the production of the exhibition Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything. The MAC also wishes to thank the family, friends and associates of Leonard Cohen, in particular Robert Kory, Adam Cohen and Lorca Cohen, who provided invaluable access to the Cohen archives, writings, recordings, films, videos, photographs and other works.
The MAC is very pleased to be associated with the many institutional partners that have generously contributed to this exhibition by sharing their archives, including poems and writings, granting the museum unprecedented access to a multitude of Cohen recordings, compositions and archival video materials, as well as permission to use them. We are deeply grateful to the CBC/Radio-Canada, the National Film Board of Canada, Sony Music and Sony ATV, McClelland & Stewart and The Wylie Agency, and the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto. We also express our deep gratitude to the artists and musicians who participated in the virtual exhibition.
Special thanks go to Carrie Haber, Chantal Ringuet, Sylvie Simmons, Ira Nadel, Alexandra Pleshoyano, Kaveh Nabatian, Michael Putland, Claude Gassian, Jared Bland, André Picard, Hugues Sweeney, Daniel Seligman, Allan Showalter and Michael Petit.
The MAC would like to thank the participants and the Turbine centre for providing recordings for the Autophonie project, some of which were broadcast in the Echo section, as well as everyone who took part in the virtual exhibition’s evaluation process.
This online project was developed with the support of the Digital Museums Canada investment program. Digital Museums Canada is managed by the Canadian Museum of History, with the financial support of the Government of Canada.
This project is also supported by the implementation of Québec’s digital cultural plan.
Finally, the MAC would like to express its sincere thanks to the many donors that made the original exhibition in 2017-2018 possible: The Azrieli Foundation/ la Fondation Azrieli, the Stephen and Lillian Vineberg Family Foundation, Nick Tedeschi and Sal Guerrera, the Claudine and Stephen Bronfman Family Foundation, Erin Battat, and the many other donors.