UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Provoke as a collective practice of photographic realism Ignas-Menzies, Tristan


Comprised of the critic Taki Kōji, poet Okada Takahiko, and photographers Nakahira Takuma, Takanashi Yutaka, and Moriyama Daido (who joined with the publication of the second issue), the photographic journal Provoke ran for three issues between 1968 and 1969. My thesis considers Provoke in terms of its status as a physical and commercial object within the socio-economic context of late 1960s Japan so as to offer a perspective into the collaborative endeavour represented by the journal as a whole. I argue that Provoke attempted to mobilize photography’s documentary potential in the face of the abstract conditions of Japan’s modern capitalist society. This was operationalized as a mode of photographic realism whose access to reality was a function of the journal’s collective form. The necessity for a specifically collective engagement with reality was articulated via the group’s engagement with Marxist theory: in the writings its members contributed to the journal they argued that the subjective alienation characterizing Japan’s capitalist modernity had rendered invisible the individual’s relation to the social whole.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International