Does Leonard Cohen Embody Jewish Men’s Fantasy Fulfillment? An Exhibition and Documentary Film Provide Clues

Multi-media women artists cleverly comment on Cohen’s appeals to fans, especially Jewish men, in the exhibition, among the eleven works in NYC originally commissioned by John Zeppetelli and Victor Shiffman for Montreal’s MAC. Video artist Candice Breitz recorded 18 men over 65 covering Cohen’s I’m Your Man album (1988), with backing vocals by the male choir of Congregation Shaar Hashomayim, the synagogue Cohen’s great-grandfather founded and he affiliated.

Tacita Dean filmed a bird on a wire for “Ear on a Worm (Ohrwurm)”, representing how one image can drive a Cohen song into fans’ heads. The immersive exhibition stays in NYC through September 8, moves to Copenhagen, then to San Francisco’s Contemporary Jewish MuseumSeptember 17, 2020 – January 3, 2021.

Despite the revelation that Cohen reveled in a classic stereotype, women and men can still find his work personally inspiring in their lives.

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