Provoke: Between Protest and Performance - Photography in Japan 1960–1975


Steidl has recently published a book exploring the influential Japanese photo magazine Provoke. Despite producing a mere three issues over a period of just nine months in the late 1960's, the magazine was a watershed in the progression of Japanese photography. Founded by Takuma Nakahira, Takahiko Okada, Yutaka Takanashi, and Kôji Taki, and joined shortly after by Daidô Moriyama, the group of photographers and critics ushered in a new experimental style at odds with the traditional documentary photography of the day. Taking place during the tumultuous post-war, era the group's aesthetic was described as 'are-bure-boke', translating to 'grainy/rough, blurry, out-of-focus' and thus ignored technical and compositional mastery in favor of raw and emotional images depicting sex, nightlife, and everyday life. Despite it's short life, the magazine and it's members influenced countless others including Nobuyoshi Araki and Eikoh Hosoe. 

At a hefty 680 pages, the book is full of both imagery as well as original text, interviews and essays making it a rare and comprehensive english resource on this monumental era of Japanese photography. The last leg of the accompanying exhibition will also be opening stateside at The Art Institute of Chicago on January 28th, 2017. The book can be found at select dealers and directly from Steidl.