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Rough, Blurred, and Out of Focus: Provoke Magazine and Postwar Japanese Photography

January 3, 2012–February 27, 2012
Ryerson and Burnham Libraries

Provoke Magazine published just three issues between 1968 and 1969, but the are, bure, boke (rough, blurred and out of focus) photography of Takuma Nakahira, Yutaka Takanashi and Daid Moriyama established the visual vocabulary to document a changing Japan. After surviving the devastation of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the subsequent American Occupation, the country was in the throes of Westernization and rapid economic development. In addition to these three dynamic photographers, this exhibition also explores the work of Shmei Tmatsu and the VIVO collective, who laid the groundwork for Provoke by rebelling against traditional European photojournalism, as well as the work of Nobuyoshi Araki and others inspired by the magazine. Photographs of this period were most often published in books and magazines, and the exhibition draws from the Ryerson's large collection of original material.

Detail from image 4 in Volume 1, Provoke, 1968.