Manifest both aesthetic and philosophical Provoke wrought a radical break in just three issues published in 1968 and 1969. With Provoke , photographers Takuma Nakahira, Yutaka Takanashi and Daido Moriyama, critic and poet Koji Taki Takahiko Okada needed a new visual language, "rough, grainy and blurred" (raw, fuzzy and grainy), able to capture the complexity of the experience of each and paradoxes of modernity sustained by all. Alongside the rapid expansion of consumer society on the Western model, the country is for ten years (1960-1970) a major identity crisis unfolding on multiple fronts: military bases in Okinawa battle against construction Narita airport, occupation of universities by students ...
If members of Provoke engaged politically - with the notable exception of Moriyama - all share the conviction that photography has proved hitherto incapable of inspiring insights and political changes. YetProvoke formally inspired by the self-representation strategies of protest movements of the time: innovative graphics, suggestive sequences, rugged frames, and dichotomy between the sophistication of the layout and the modesty of materials used.
Meanwhile, the procedure and the spirit of Provoke feed and feed the emergence of performance in Japan, particularly in the public space. Its great figures, plastic Jiro Takamatsu, Akasegawa Genpei, Natsuyuki Nakanishi, Koji Enokura, the founder of ankoku Butoh, Tatsumi Hijikata and playwright Shuji Terayama, help to break the boundaries between direct action and image and reveal the performative force the photographic medium.
The exhibition Provoke between protest and performance brings together a unique collection of "Protest Books" published by student associations, trade unions, professional photojournalists and photographers artists, collective works and performances of artists that marked this period, interviews with Daido Moriyama, Nobuyoshi Araki and Eikoh Hosoe, and several unpublished texts of historians and researchers Japanese, American and European.
The exhibition and accompanying book are the result of three years of research and collaboration between four international museums - the Albertina in Vienna, the Fotomuseum Winterthur in Switzerland, LE BAL in Paris and the Art Institute of Chicago the United States and more than forty lenders, artists, collectors, museums and galleries worldwide.