Leonard Cohen’s legacy lives on in upcoming Montreal exhibition
Legendary Montreal icon Leonard Cohen will be honoured in the latest exhibition at Montreal’s contemporary art museum (MAC) next year.
Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything will pay homage to the singer, songwriter and poet, who passed away at the age of 82 on Nov. 7 after falling down at his Los Angeles home. The exhibit opens next November.
Local Quebec musicians Jean Leloup, Ariane Moffat and Lou Doillon will be among the 25 or more artists from multiple disciplines — including visual artists, performers, musicians, writers and filmmakers — who will create new works specially for the exhibition.
“It’s definitely an honour for me to be able to record a song by Leonard Cohen. At 20 years old, I was a struggling artist supporting myself by making portraits in the street,” said Leloup.
“It was at the café where I would go for my breaks and drink cappuccinos, that they played Cohen’s records non-stop. I was taken by his strange melodies and would sit transfixed, as if in a trance for hours listening to his voice.”
“I will always remember that even though his music wasn’t always joyful, it had a curious healing power and was able to stop time. Someone, a person I didn’t know was simply offering me poetry with a voice and a guitar.”
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According to Doillon, Cohen represents “the writing of benevolence, the voice of the human, the music of the earth. Man and his faults, transcended.”
The exhibition is being curated by John Zeppetelli and Victor Shiffman to underscore Cohen’s important literary and musical achievements, as well as the huge impact he had — especially on the music scene.
“With the recent death of Leonard Cohen, our exhibition takes on new meaning. It becomes a tribute to this global icon,” said Zeppetelli.
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Both local and international artists will create new works exploring a wide range of themes and subject matter that Cohen touched upon, as well as revisit his classic songs, which museum-goers can listen to throughout the exhibition.
“I have always listened to Leonard Cohen’s music, like the voice of a guide,” said Moffatt.
“I’d even go so far as to say a musical father figure, no doubt because of its reassuring timbre.”
“What he embodied for me was the integration of great spirituality into his work and a disarming humility in the face of the mountain of effort it took to achieve beauty.”
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Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything starts on Nov. 9, 2017, just two days after what will be the first anniversary of Cohen’s death.
“His genius will transcend the works paying tribute to the immense artist he was,” said Gilbert Rozon, commissioner of the 375th anniversary celebrations.
“Dynamic and immersive, these artistic productions will be inspiring, like this great poet.”
The exhibition will go until April 1, 2018 as part of closing festivities for Montreal’s 375th anniversary.
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