Sternthal Books Print

Songs Of Innocence and Experience: A Study Guide

Rick Morris Pushinsky
$35
$35
Designed by Bernd Grether
Softcover, 72 Pages, Foil Stamp on Paper
23.8 x 22.3 cm, Edition of 300
978-0-9921337-9-5
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Sternthal Books Print
Songs Of Innocence and Experience: A Study Guide
Rick Morris Pushinsky
$35

Sternthal Book’s is proud to announce the launch of our 16th edition, the British based Photographer Rick Pushinksky’s ‘Song’s Of Innocence and Experience: A Study Guide’ which launched this month at London’s famed Photography Gallery with a signing by the artist.

The edition is a visual response to William Blake’s 1789 illustrated collection of poems, using photographs of found and fabricated sculptures interwoven with fragments of text from Francis Gilbert’s study guide to build a vision of the world seen through the prism of Blake’s imagination. Pushinsky uses scenes from contemporary life – including staged portraits, still lives, and landscapes, presented in a square format reminiscent of instagram, in dreamy pallette of pastel colors, often lifted from everyday objects. Each image was inspired by a phrase from Blake’s poetry,

The images aim to echo and contemporise Blake’s use of the physical as metaphor for the metaphysical. There is a parallel between the camera’s ability to transform its subject, and Blake’s belief in the transformative power of the imagination. In one image a toy rocket is ignited, just before it is set to lift off, which relates to relationships, a theme aborded by Blake in Ah! Sunflower, which is part of a triptych on relationships and sex that also includes My Pretty Rose Tree and The Lilly. According to Gilbert, taken together these poems illustrate Blake’s idea that relationships are destroyed neither by sex, nor desire, but rather by their repression, which leads people to daydream and fantasies that might destroy their relationships in the real world. Pushinsky’s rocket image cheekily suggests the sexual and emotional tensions that we encounter in all three poems. Particularly it evokes the sense in Ah! Sunflower that youths are in a constant quest for what psychoanalyst and philosopher Jacques Lacan calls “alterity” or “otherness”; a fantasy of sexual perfection which does not exist.

“Innocence” and “Experience” are definitions of consciousness that rethink Milton’s existential-mythic states of “Paradise” and the “Fall.” Blake’s categories are modes of perception that tend to coordinate with a chronology that would become standard in Romanticism: childhood is a state of protected innocence rather than original sin, but not immune to the fallen world and its institutions. This world sometimes impinges on childhood itself, and in any event becomes known through “experience,” a state of being marked by the loss of childhood vitality, by fear and inhibition, by social and political corruption, and by the manifold oppression of Church, State, and the ruling classes.

In Pushinsky’s own words, “I attended a lecture when I was 18 by a lady called Kathleen Raine who was a poet, critic and Blake scholar. It was about Blake’s idea that London could become the new Jerusalem, that it could be transformed through the imagination of the people living there. I was fascinated by his idea that paradise could be created in the mind. As a response I wanted to make pictures of ordinary things transformed through photography and the imagination.”

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About

Sternthal Books is an art book publishing company which uses print, motion, and digital media to examine current global issues from an artistic perspective. Through our experience, we shepherd our clients and collaborators through the various stages through which an idea is transformed into a finished product. We believe that art provides all people with the power to express ourselves, transform our surroundings, and make the world a better place. If you are an artist, gallery, or museum interested in publishing, please get in touch at contact@sternthalbooks.com, and for a more detailed list of available services scroll below.

This website is arranged according to media – Read, Watch, Visit, but when you click on a ‘Sternthal Book or Video’, each one acts as a container which brings together components from the various ‘media’: Every book we make is accompanied by a digital edition, a short film, and events and programming, rendering the substance of what we do far more significant then just a book.

Clients

Venice Biennale For Architecture, Artis, The Jack Shainman Gallery, Printed Matter Art Book Fair, Alon Segev Gallery, Chelouche Gallery, Braverman Gallery, UMapped.

Services

  • Strategy

    Sternthal Books works with artists, galleries, museums, and a variety of other cultural institutions to best communicate their program’s and exhibitions through a variety of digital, interactive, and print media. Our role varies according to our clients needs, with the capacity to see projects through from strategizing and concepting through production and promotion.

  • Concepting

    Through conversations, dialogue, and research, we sift through a large variety of visual material in order to seek out different approaches to best communicate messaging. Whether it be in the form of an artist book, a website, or a short film, each project starts with a clear conceptual point of departure.

  • Curation

    Through a process of selection and re-interpretation, we start each project of through a curatorial editing process, where we collaborate with artists to either sequence and arrange their work, and in many cases, embark on the creation of new works to best communicate the artist’s vision. The books and videos we aim to make are not mere representations of existing media, but are works of art in and above themselves.
  • Design

    During the design process we use a variety of models, and mockups, mood and story boards to begin to flesh out concepts, and bring them to reality.

  • Production

    Through our experience we have developed trusting relationships with a variety of programmers, designers, and printing companies in Asia, Europe, Israel, and North America. We can oversee, manage, and produce both audio visual and print projects from start to finish.

  • Promotion

    Through events, newsletters, pop up shops, and various collaborations, we also offer promotional support to our clients and collaborators, helping to provide exposure and visibility for artists and brands alike.

Contact

Schedule a meeting

Email us to schedule a meeting, either in New York, Montreal, or Tel-Aviv.

Design & UX: Naama Tobias
Code: Eli Krupitsky