Provoke was first published in November 1968 as a dojin-shi, or self-published magazine. It was originally conceived by art critic Koji Taki (1928-2011) and photographer Takuma Nakahira (1938-2015), with poet Takahiko Okada (1939-1997) and photographer Yutaka Takanashi as dojin members.
The subtitle for the magazine was “Provocative Materials for Thought”, and each issue was composed of photographs, essays and poems. After releasing the second and third issue with Daido Moriyama as a subsequent member, the group broke up with their last publication First, Abandon the World of Pseudo-Certainty - an overview edition of the three issues.
Website to the reprint of the 3 volumes by Shashasha
Louise Wolthers and Sara Walker, curators of the exhibition “Daido Moriyama: A Diary,” remark:
“In the Provoke movement, photography was perceived as an act, rather than merely a gaze. It was also Provoke magazine that presented the radical new photographic style in black and white, which came to be termed as “ARE, BURE, BOKE” (grainy, blurred, out of focus). Moriyama’s hallmarks came to be black-and white photography, experiments with stark contrasts and a distinct strategy of making his photographs almost imperceptible through darkness.”
We recommend deepening into this movement through these two recent exhibitions about Provoke:
“THE GAZE OF THINGS. JAPANESE PHOTOGRAPH IN THE CONTEXT OF PROVOKE”.
The website of the exhibition that took place at Bombas Gens includes catalog and room texts, images and videos. [LINK]
"PROVOKE: BETWEEN PROTEST AND PERFORMANCE - PHOTOGRAPHY IN JAPAN 1960–1975". Video to the catalog ueof the exhibition co-produced by Le Bal, FotoMuseum Winterthur, Albertina and The Art Institute of Chicago