press release

After more than two years in development, the MAC is proud to present Leonard Cohen – Une brèche en toute chose / A Crack in Everything, presented by CBC/Radio-Canada and part of the official program for Montréal’s 375th anniversary celebrations. From November 9, 2017 to April 9, 2018, Leonard Cohen’s music, words and life will take over the MAC for five months in what may be the museum’s most ambitious exhibition in its history.

A Life’s Work Revisited Through Contemporary Art
A truly multidisciplinary exhibition combining visual art, virtual reality, installations, music and writing, Leonard Cohen – Une brèche en toute chose / A Crack in Everything offers the public a collection of new works created by local and international artists who have been inspired by Leonard Cohen’s life, work and legacy. The exhibition also explores how Cohen’s vastly important achievement entered the cultural conversation, how it cut deep into the marrow of the body politic.

20 works, 40 artists, 10 countries

The exhibition offers contextual multimedia installations specially conceived by the MAC, including an immersive multi-screen environment highlighting five decades of Cohen’s concert performances and a wonderful multi-screen exploration into his thinking and the workings of his mind in an installation concentrating on Cohen in interview and in his own speaking voice. Needless to say, Leonard Cohen was seldom banal, and always a joy to behold and listen to.

The experience actually begins off-site: Montrealers and Cohen lovers, and visitors alike are all invited to the Old Port’s Silo No. 5 for five consecutive nights to witness Jenny Holzer’s majestic For Leonard Cohen, beginning on the first anniversary of his death, November 7. As part of the exhibition, the MAC is also holding a series of five concerts off-site, based on five iconic Leonard Cohen albums, during the five months of the exhibition.

Exhibition will feature work by: Kara Blake, Candice Breitz, Daily tous les jours, Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller, Christophe Chassol, Tacita Dean, Thomas Demand, Kota Ezawa, George Fok, Ari Folman, Clara Furey, Jenny Holzer, Jon Rafman, Michael Rakowitz, Zach Richter, Sharon Robinson, The Sanchez Brothers and Taryn Simon.

Musicians have been invited to record an exclusive cover of a Cohen song, which will play at the Museum in an installation titled Listening to Leonard. They are: Ariane Moffatt, with l’Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, Aurora, Brad Barr, Basia Bulat, Chilly Gonzales and Jarvis Cocker with The Kaiser Quartett, Dear Criminals, Douglas Dare, Feist, Half Moon Run, Julia Holter, Leif Vollebekk, Li’l Andy & Joe Grass, Little Scream, Lou Doillon, Mélanie De Biasio, Moby, The National with Sufjan Stevens, Richard Reed Parry and Ragnar Kjartansson, Socalled.

“Cohen is an extraordinary poet of sorrow and the human condition, giving voice to what it means to be fully alert to the complexities and desires of both body and soul. It is a true honor to launch this exhibition that is devoted to the critical celebration, loving tribute and, a year after his passing, quiet commemoration of a vast artistic achievement and inspiring life.”
–John Zeppetelli, Director and Chief Curator at the MAC, Co-Curator of the exhibition

“To mark Montréal’s 375th anniversary, we could think of no better cultural figure to honour with a large-scale, wide-ranging exhibition than the local genius and planetary icon, Leonard Cohen. The exhibition began as an ardent celebration of a universally acclaimed Montrealer, but has evolved into a more solemn and commemorative experience, as it now opens exactly one year after Cohen’s passing.” –Victor Shiffman, Co-Curator of the exhibition