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Positions and Practice -Provoke, Le Bal Refection

Visit to the Le Bal to see the Provoke exhibition.  The strap line for this exhibition is ‘Between protest and performance – photography in Japan 1960-1975.’

This exhibition in two rooms, retraces the history of the short-lived, yet cult avant-garde Japanese photography magazine Provoke.

The exhibition covers the three issues of the magazine and features the photographic work  of its members:-

  1. Moriyama Daidō

  2. Nakahira Takuma

  3. Okada Takahiko

  4. Takanashi Yutaka

  5. Taki Kōji

The exhibition features predominantly black and white images which are presented in various ways dependent on the effect and interpretation intended.  The two rooms feel quite crowded as a guided group tour was taking place when we were there.  I found this somewhat distracting when viewing images.

I was however fascinated that a series of just 3 magazines could have such a profound effect on photography’s position in reacting to changing political and social conditions.  

Again, in order to fully appreciate this body of work and the 3 years of collaborative research that went into it, I have bought the book that accompanies the exhibition.  I will be studying this further and intend to discuss my thoughts in another blog.


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