For a language to come

Takuma Nakahira,For a language to come

Takuma Nakahira
For a language to come

Photographs: Takuma Nakahira

Text: Takuma Nakahira

Publisher: Fudo-sha

192 pages

Pictures: 103

Year: 1970

Comments: Hardcover with jacket and card slipcase, 300 x 212 mm. First edition, 1970. Gravure printing. Included in Martin Parr & Gerry Badger, The Photobook, vol. I, p.292-293 ; Ryuichi Kaneko & Ivan Vartanian, The Japanese Photobooks of the 1960's and 1970's, p.130-133. Very scarce and collectible copy.

sold

"Through his photographs and writings Takuma Nakahira was both the chief polemicist for the Provoke group and its political conscience. Along with Moriyama's Sashin yo Sayonara (Bye Bye Photography), his book Kitarubeki Kotoba no Tameni (For a language to come) marks the apogee of the Provoke period. It exhibits all the characteristics of the Provoke style - an unabashed revelling in "bad" photographic technique, the mannerisms of the New York School pushed to the edge of coherence. These qualities would tend to make the casual reader bracket it with Moriyama's masterpiece, yet a closer look at Nakahira's book reveals that Nakahira's sensibility is quite different. Althoug the more political of the two, Nakahira didt not photograph "political" subjects directly, but utilized a troubled lyricism to express his disaffection with the colonization of Japan by American consumerism. Whereas Moriyama is jumpy and frenetic in tone, Nakahira displays a brooding calm. For a language to come closes with several shots of the sea, and the book's narrative is punctured at intervals with marine images. Far from suggesting boundless space, this is a dark, bleak and menacing sea, with the consistency of soup, a metaphor for claustrophobia and a narrowing of horizons.

The other overwhelming metaphor in the book is fire, an apocalyptic, post-Hiroshima conflagration, often expressed indirectly in Nakahira's night pictures with swathes of burned-out lens flare. These "natural" metaphors - water and fire - remind us that this is essentially a "landscape" book, though a landscape of the mind. The two, however, are inextricably related (...). These are sad, beautiful pictures of half-light - and half-life. They are quintessential Provoke images, and stand for much postwar Japanese photography prior to the 1980s."

Martin Parr & Gerry Badger, The Photobook: A History, vol.I

 



Takuma Nakahira,For a language to come

Takuma Nakahira,For a language to come

Takuma Nakahira,For a language to come

Takuma Nakahira,For a language to come

Takuma Nakahira,For a language to come

Takuma Nakahira,For a language to come

Takuma Nakahira,For a language to come

Takuma Nakahira,For a language to come

Takuma Nakahira,For a language to come

Takuma Nakahira,For a language to come

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Takuma Nakahira,For a language to come