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Looking for Marshall McLuhan in Afghanistan: From Smartphone to Palladium goes to Photoville in Brooklyn New York

Saturday September 12th Panel Discussion—”The Virtual and the Physical: Responses to Photography in the Digital Age,” with Rita Leistner, Penelope Umbrico and Fred Ritchin, Dean of the School of the International Center of Photography.


FEATURE EXHIBITION Scotiabank Toronto Contact Photography Festival 2015

Official Public Opening: Saturday May 2, 2015 10 AM TO 4 PM

The Dylan Ellis Gallery, 1840 Danforth Avenue at Woodbine

Rita Leistner and master printer Bob Carnie will be in attendance. Wine & cheese, lemonade, iced tea, book signing

Exhibition runs from April 15 to May 13. Gallery hours: Mon-Wed 9-5; Thurs-Fri: 9am-8pm; Sat 10-4; Sun 11-3.

Photographs made on an iPhone during a military embed in Afghanistan are the jumping-off point in this journey of process and discovery about communication, photography, technology, and war. High-tech meets low-tech in the battlefields of Afghanistan and in the printing process itself: Digital captures from a smartphone are printed with a time-honoured 19th process made famous by Edward Steichen. Photographer Rita Leistner joins with master printer Bob Carnie to create painterly and highly archival three-colour gum bichromate on platinum prints mounted on aluminum. Leistner used the retro Hipstamatic app—with its shutter lag and slowed down processing—to focus on calm or motionless, “artifactual” elements in the scene: the Hindu Kush mountains viewed through the portal of a colonial ruin; a torn curtain hanging from a tent-like structure in a deserted campground; a warning sign handwritten by the Taliban in a hybrid Pashto script. Text panels from Leistner’s book, Looking for Marshall McLuhan in Afghanistan, co-designed with Jenny Armour, are also on display. The result is a portrayal of war that differs in form and content from the usual media currency—shedding light on old and new technologies, on a failed war, and on human connection.

October 29th 2014 — The Northrop Frye Centre,Toronto

The first official book launch hosted by the Northrop Frye Centre at Victoria College, the University of Toronto

November 7th  2014 — The International Center of Photography, New York

The first international book launch hosted by the International Center of Photography Library at the School of the International Center of Photography in New York City

Wednesday November 26th  2014 — The Translation Project of Looking for Marshall McLuhan in Afghanistan

6:30 pm to 9:30 pm @ The Alliance Française of Toronto 24 Spadina Road (just north of Bloor Street)

Come share a glass, practice your French and see how a translation project takes shape in this exclusive “Work in Progress” presentation of À la recherche to Marshall McLuhan en Afghanistan (Looking for Marshall McLuhan in Afghanistan) a new book and exhibition by Rita Leistner. Words and pictures are presented on the same visual plane. Words, after all, are visual: You cannot read with your eyes closed (unless you are reading Braille). Translation and printing sponsored by the Carré Amelot Cultural Centre in La Rochelle France, where the work was premiered in February 2014.