Montréal, February 15, 2021 – The Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (MAC) reopened its doors, but still offers a digital programming! After the monumental success of the exhibition Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything, inaugurated at the MAC in 2017, the Musée has the great pleasure to launch the virtual exhibition of the same name. Inspired by the original, the virtual exhibition Leonard Cohen : A Crack in Everything stands apart from the one shown in the Museum. This rich presentation includes some fifty works from the MAC collection in addition to bringing together the works and songs from the original exhibition, which the public so enjoyed and loved.

Fully bilingual and accessible, the exhibition is freely available online for three years (until February 12, 2024) in Canada only:

With this virtual exhibition, the MAC offers visitors a timeless moment by immersing themselves in the unique universe of the great Leonard Cohen, seen through the lens of contemporary art. A unique opportunity to see again the outstanding pieces of the original exhibition, while further discovering the extent, diversity and relevance of the works in the MAC collection.

Discovering contemporary art while exploring the world of Leonard Cohen

A formidable audiovisual immersion, the virtual exhibition explores the universal aspect of Cohen’s predominant themes that illuminated his poetry and vast musical repertoire, while uncovering the many links that can be drawn with contemporary art.

The exhibition is divided into four main themes 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, the MAC invites 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

Excerpt of the virtual exhibition. Detail of the work The Offerings, 2017, by Kara Blake.

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.

Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal

Located in the heart of the Quartier des Spectacles, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal makes today’s art a vital part of Montréal and Québec life. For more than fifty years, this vibrant museum has brought together local and international artists, their works and an ever-growing public. It is also a place of discovery, offering visitors experiences that are continually changing and new, and often unexpected and stirring. The MAC presents temporary exhibitions devoted to outstanding and relevant current artists who provide their own particular insight into our society, as well as exhibitions of works drawn from the museum’s extensive collection. These may feature any and every form of expression: digital and sound works, installations, paintings, sculptures, ephemeral pieces, and more. In addition to its wide range of educational activities familiarizing the general public with contemporary art, the MAC organizes unique artistic performances and festive events. It is a window onto a myriad of avant-garde expressions that extend the reach of art throughout the city and beyond.

Source and Information

Anne Dongois
T. 514 826-2050
[email protected]