Provoke magazine challenged the very nature of photography and called attention to the medium’s materiality. Reacting to the social tensions, consumerism, and mass culture of a rapidly changing country, the photographers and writers involved in the publication called for a new visual language. They rejected the premise that the photograph represented another reality or was responsible for conveying any social meaning; the image itself was its own reality and capable of provoking new ideas. Laid out in jarring juxtapositions, the magazine’s grainy, high-contrast, and out-of-focus images sought to foster a political, often transgressive dialogue through visuals rather than words.
Controversial upon its publication, Provoke’s design and the experimental artists it featured had a profound, far-reaching impact on Japanese photography in the 1970s and 1980s, despite the fact that only three issues were ever released. Moriyama Daido joined Provoke for the last two volumes.
Provoke, vol. 3
Taki Koji (1928–2011), Takanashi Yutaka (b. 1935), Nakahira Takuma (1938–2015), Moriyama Daido (b. 1938), Okada Tadahiko (1939–1997)
Tokyo: Purovoku-sha, 1968–69
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The Manfred Heiting Book Collection, museum purchase funded by the Caroline Wiess Law Accessions Endowment Fund, LIB.436