October 4, 2019 - Kunstforeningen GL STRAND - Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything
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October 4, 2019

Kunstforeningen GL STRAND

Leonard Cohen, Trouville, 1988. Taken from a photograph by Claude Gassian.

 

Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything
October 24, 2019–April 13, 2020

www.glstrand.dk
www.nikolajkunsthal.dk
Facebook / Facebook / Instagram / Instagram

Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything
October 24, 2019–April 13, 2020

www.glstrand.dk
www.nikolajkunsthal.dk
Facebook / Facebook / Instagram / Instagram

Artist talk: Candice Breitz and John Zeppetelli in conversation with Helene Nyborg Bay
October 22, 5–6pm
Nikolaj Kunsthal, Nikolaj Plads 10, 1067 Copenhagen

Artist Talk: Kara Blake, Ari Folman and John Zeppetelli in conversation with Anne Kielgast
October 24, 5–6pm
Kunstforeniningen GL STRAND, Gl. Strand 24, 1202 Copenhagen

A world-renowned novelist, poet, and singer / songwriter, Leonard Cohen (Montreal 1934–Los Angeles 2016) has inspired generations of writers, musicians, and artists. He was 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. Kunstforeningen GL STRAND and Nikolaj Kunsthal are privileged to have Cohen’s music, words, and performances on view at their exhibition spaces for six months, offering a critical celebration, loving tribute, and quiet commemoration of a vast artistic achievement, and inspiring life.

Originally conceived by the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, the exhibition brings together commissioned artworks by visual artists, filmmakers, and musicians who have been inspired, influenced or otherwise moved by Cohen’s extraordinary oeuvre. Early in his career, Leonard Cohen found one of his most devoted audiences in Scandinavia, inspiring the inclusion of Danish singers along with other musicians and vocalists in the Copenhagen presentation of the audio installation Listening to Leonard.

Leonard Cohen’s thinking and writing are things of beauty and despair. For decades, he tenaciously supplied the world with melancholy yet urgent observations on the state of the human heart. With equal parts gravitas and grace, Cohen teased out a startlingly inventive and singular language, depicting a rapturous, and sometimes liturgical, spirituality and an earthly sexuality. For all of Cohen’s reputation as a gloomy, depressive figure, he was actually a subtle ironist, had levity and wry humour. His interweaving of the sacred and the profane, of mystery and accessibility, is such a compelling combination that it has been seared into individual and collective memory. The exhibition explores how this vastly important achievement has affected and inspired artists, how it entered the cultural conversation, cutting deep into the marrow of the body politic. Truly exceptional in the breadth of its conceptualizations, A Crack in Everything is marked not only by the aesthetic heritage of the work of Leonard Cohen, but also by the diversity and audacity of the responses offered by the invited artists.

In sumptuous, if sometimes harshly exacting language, Cohen charted the darkest byways of human emotion. He saw prayer in the carnal and seemed to acknowledge, at every turn, the inevitability of pain and disappointment. “There is a crack in everything,” he memorably wrote. For Cohen, this was a demonstrable fact supported by widespread evidence, both personal and social. But there was also the compensating counter-argument: “That’s how the light gets in.”

Participating Artists
Kara Blake / Candice Breitz / Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller / Christophe Chassol / Leonard Cohen / Daily tous les jours / Tacita Dean / Kota Ezawa / George Fok / Ari Folman / Jon Rafman / Zach Richter / Taryn Simon

Participating artists at Kunstforeningen GL STRAND
Kara Blake, Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller, Daily tous les jours, Kota Ezawa, George Fok, Ari Folman, Jon Rafman, Taryn Simon

Participating artists at Nikolaj Kunsthal
Candice Breitz, Christophe Chassol, Tacita Dean, George Fok, Zach Richter

The exhibition also includes the audio installation Listening to Leonard with recorded covers of Cohen songs produced, arranged, and performed by the following musicians and vocalists:

Ariane Moffatt with Orchestre symphonique de Montréal; Aurora; Basia Bulat; Brad Barr; Chilly Gonzales and Jarvis Cocker with Kaiser Quartett; Dear Criminals; Douglas Dare; Feist; Half Moon Run; Julia Holter; Katinka Bjerregaard; Leif Vollebekk; Li’l Andy and Joe Grass; Little Scream; Lou Doillon; Mélanie De Biasio; Moby; Socalled; Steen Jørgensen; The National with Sufjan Stevens, Ragnar Kjartansson and Richard Reed Parry.

Organized by the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, the exhibition is curated by John Zeppetelli, Director and Chief Curator at the MAC, and Victor Shiffman, Co-Curator. The presentation in Copenhagen is coordinated by Kunstforeningen GL STRAND in collaboration with Nikolaj Kunsthal.


The Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, a state corporation funded by the Gouvernement du Québec, thanks Leonard Cohen for his support of this exhibition. Robert Kory, Adam Cohen and Lorca Cohen provided invaluable assistance in the successful organization of this project. The MAC also acknowledges the support of CBC/Radio-Canada and the National Film Board of Canada, as well as Sony Music and Sony ATV.

The exhibition in Copenhagen is made possible by our generous donors A.P. Møller and Hustru Chastine Mc-Kinney Møllers Fond til almene Formaal, The Obel Family Foundation, Konsul George Jorck og Hustru Emma Jorck’s Fond, The City of Copenhagen and The Danish Arts Foundation.

The exhibition Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything premiered in the fall of 2017 in Montreal, and was later presented in the spring of 2019 at the Jewish Museum in New York. Following its Copenhagen showing, it will travel in 2020 to the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco. 

The exhibition can be seen at Kunstforeningen GL STRAND and Nikolaj Kunsthal from October 24, 2019 to April 13, 2020. One ticket will buy you access to both art galleries.

During the entire exhibition, there will be a wide range of events, including talks, documentaries, yoga, concerts and intimate concerts organized by Kunstforeningen GL STRAND and Nikolaj Kunsthal.

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