Accessibility statement

You're viewing an archived page from a previous Festival of Ideas. See this year's festival »

The Leonard Cohen Exhibition: Between devotional tribute and critical exercise
John Zeppetelli

  • Friday 8 June 2018, 7.45PM to 8.45pm
  • Free admission
    Booking required
    Book tickets
  • Ron Cooke Hub, University of York (map|getting to campus)
  • Wheelchair accessible

Event details

Find out about the making of the Leonard Cohen: Une brèche en toute chose / A Crack in Everything exhibition with John Zeppetelli, Director and Chief Curator of the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. This major exhibition was the first to be entirely devoted to the imagination and legacy of this great singer/songwriter, man of letters and global icon from Montréal. 

Inspired by the world of Leonard Cohen and the great themes of his life and work, this truly multidisciplinary exhibition combined visual art, virtual reality, installations, performances, music and writing, presenting a life’s work revisited through contemporary art.

It offered the public a collection of brand new work commissioned from and created by local and international artists who have been inspired by Leonard Cohen’s style and recurring themes. At the same time, it was a particularly Montreal-centric exhibition that has received outstanding support from the community.

About the speaker

John Zeppetelli joined the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal in 2013, as both its Director and Chief Curator. Under his leadership, the MAC has enjoyed a significant increase in attendances and notoriety and a refreshing renewal in both its programming and spirit. Sophie Calle, Simon Starling, David Altmejd, Jon Rafman, Dana Schutz, Ragnar Kjartansson and Lizzie Fitch / Ryan Trecartin are among some of the exciting artists to have exhibited – to both critical and popular acclaim. At the MAC he oversees a wide-ranging programme of exhibitions, public programmes and acquisitions, as well as spearheading a building transformation project. He recently curated an exhibition by Mexican artist Teresa Margolles and a group show on the legendary Montreal singer Leonard Cohen.

Before joining the MAC he was curator for almost seven years at DHC/ART Foundation in Montréal where he organised exhibitions with some of the world’s leading artists including Marc Quinn, Haroun Farocki, Stan Douglas, Christian Marclay, Sophie Calle, Michal Rovner, Jenny Holzer, Ceal Floyer, John Currin, Thomas Demand and Cory Arcangel among others. An award-winning group show exploring loss and mortality across personal, social and political realms called Chronicles of a Disappearance, brought together works by Omer Fast, Teresa Margolles, Philippe Parreno, Taryn Simon and José Toirac.

Before returning to his native Montreal, John worked at the ICA in London and in a commercial gallery in New York while he attended the Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Program. He has lectured in Video Art at NSCAD University and at Concordia University where he also ran the MFA Visiting Artist Program. John has curated media arts festivals in both Canada and Europe.He is also an award-winning filmmaker whose work has been screened internationally in festivals and galleries.


Festival tweets