Details of Leonard Cohen tribute exhibition revealed, The National, Sufjan Stevens contribute

Julia Holter, Jarvis Cocker, Chilly Gonzales, Moby, and more will also participate in the Montreal art exhibition


    Photos by Ben Kaye (Sufjan Stevens) and Killian Young (The National)

    From November 9th to April 9th, the tribute exhibition Leonard Cohen – Une brèche en toute chose / A Crack in Everything will run at le Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (MAC). Part of the official celebration of Montreal’s 375th anniversary, the opening comes almost one year after Leonard Cohen’s passing. Today, details of the massive art exhibition have been revealed.

    One of the highlights will be Listening to Leonard, an installation featuring covers by a number of noted musicians. The National and Sufjan Stevens will work with special guests Socalled, while Jarvis Cocker and Chilly Gonzales will collaborate with The Kaiser Quartet Dear Criminals. Also set to take part in Listening to Leonard are Julia Holter, Moby, Basia Bulat, Little Scream, Douglas Dare, Jean Leloup, and more.

    (Read: Leonard Cohen Taught Us How to Live)

    The exhibition itself, which Cohen authorized before his death, will feature writings, self-portrait drawings, and recordings from the iconic artist’s own archives. There will also be a number of specially commissioned VR, visual, musical, and written works from various artists. To kick off the programing, Jenny Holzer will project selections from Cohen’s poems and songs on Montreal’s iconic Silo No. 5. The projection will run from November 7th (the anniversary of Cohen’s passing) to the 11th.


    South Africa’s Candic Breltz will present a multi-channel video installation that sees 18 male, Montreal-based Cohen fans re-recording his 1988 classic I’m Your Man. Their remakes feature backing by the Shaar Hashomayim Synagogue Choir from the congregation Cohen belonged to his entire life. Montreal filmmaker Kara Blake is creating a video installation that presents visitors a chance to have an intimate conversation with Cohen himself.

    (Read: Why Leonard Cohen Was Our Man)

    There are plenty of other aspects to the tribute, and MAC is planning on taking the exhibition on an international tour after its initial run. More information can be found at the MAC website. Read a statement from one of the curators, John Zeppetelli, below.

    “When we came up with the idea for this exhibition, we went to seek the agreement of Leonard Cohen, who was thrilled with the project and the angle we were proposing. It was important for him that this exhibit would not be of a biographical nature. From the start, the project was thought as a contemporary artistic exploration of a life’s work, and in that sense, he was thrilled to be able to inspire other artists through his art. Given his recent death, our exhibition has taken on a new meaning. It has also become a tribute to this global star. We have a great responsibility to the public and the approach adopted by the artists will definitely be sensitive to this aspect, to reflect both our gratitude and our respect for this Montréal artist.”

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