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Provoke: A lecture by Matthew S Witkovsky
Event 18 April 2019
Shōmei Tōmatsu’s monochrome photograph ‘Editor, Takuma Nakahira, Shinjuku, Tokyo’ from the ‘Provoke’ event, a lecture by Matt S Witkovsky on A4’s top floor. On the right, an individual wearing sunglasses punches a pear-shaped punching bag with their back to a washing basin. On the left, a carnival target game is partially visible.
Artwork: Shomei Tomatsu, Editor, Takuma Nakahira, Shinjuku, Tokyo (1964). Gelatin silver print. 37.1 x 45.6 cm. Courtesy of Comer Foundation Fund.
Title Provoke: A lecture by Matthew S Witkovsky Dates 18 April 2019 Location Top Floor Tagline Matthew S Witkovsky presents a slide lecture about the Tokyo-based movement Provoke.

Provoke manifested during years of tremendous and widespread protests in Japan. Titled in English, the movement in Japanese photography produced only three issues of a small magazine between August 1968 and December 1969. But Provoke, as its name suggests, instigated profound thinking about art and protest, and affected the course of photography in Japan.

In 2016, Matthew S Witkovsky, together with colleagues in Paris, Winterthur and Vienna, organised a survey exhibition on film and photography from this period. This brought together the work of career photographers and filmmakers, vanguard performance artists, and self-publishing protesters.

Witovsky refers to the exhibition Provoke: Photography in Japan between Protest and Performance, 1960–1975 in his presentation at A4 Arts Foundation, with special emphasis on the photographs and photobooks of Shomei Tomatsu, Daido Moriyama, and Takuma Nakahira.

Witkovsky is visiting Cape Town from the Art Institute of Chicago, where he is Chair and Curator of the Department of Photography.

Event: Provoke | A lecture by Matt S Witkovsky, April 18, 2019. Image courtesy of A4 Arts Foundation.