Circulation: Date, Place, Events


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In 1971 photographer Takuma Nakahira participated in the Seventh Paris Biennale for emerging artists from around the world. In his experimental project Circulation: Date, Place, Events Nakahira challenged himself to photograph his surroundings and in the same day exhibit the results for a duration of approximately one week. Indiscriminately documenting everything he encountered — the Parisian streets, the people and cars that came and went there, all manner of posters and printed matter, the installations in the Biennale including the constantly evolving display of his own work, the underground passageways of the subway, news wire reports transmitted by teletype machines, the constant flow of images on television, his room service breakfast in his hotel room and drying underwear — Nakahira exhibited the photographic traces of his daily experiences of Paris within each day. As the photographs proliferated day after day, the exhibition wall could no longer contain them, and Nakahira spread them onto the floor.

Circulation: Date, Place, Events consisted of the daily process of capturing fragments of material reality with the camera and returning these back to reality as photographic prints made on the spot in the form of a photographic site-specific installation. As a photobook, this volume seeks to newly engage Takuma Nakahira’s critical perspective as produced in Paris, 1971, rather than simply recreating the original installation. In 1973, seeking to make break with the past and reject his own photography up to that point, Nakahira would burn up most of his negatives and prints. Fortunately, or perhaps intentionally un-burned, the negatives corresponding to Circulation: Date, Place, Events have been preserved. There are approximately nine hundred and eighty cut 35 mm negatives (B&W) as well as forty-eight remaining prints confirmed to be part of the photographs taken and exhibited by Takuma Nakahira for his submission, Circulation: Date, Place, Events at the Seventh Paris Biennale. The editing and composition of this volume, which compiles together mainly photographs confirmed to have been exhibited and those which have not been confirmed, is based on analysis of their date and time of exposure as well as the state of their display during the installation found in these existing photographic and related materials. The prints made from the original negatives for the printing of this volume were produced by photographer Osamu Kanemura in consideration of the original aims of the work.

Book Size
300 x 208.5 mm
160 pages
Publication Date



Born 1938 in Tokyo. At the time he was working as an editor for Gendai no me magazine, he was encouraged by photographer Shomei Tomatsu to start taking photographs. In the following year, several of his works as a freelance photographer were published in magazines etc., and at the same time, he started writing about film and photography. He launched the photo fanzine Provoke as “provocative food for thought” together with Koji Taki, Yutaka Takanashi and Takahiko Okada in 1968. His characteristic technique that came to be referred to as “bure, boke” (“blurry, out-of-focus ”) made a major impact on the realm of photography at the time. In the critical essay collection Why an Illustrated Botanical Dictionary in 1973, he dismissed his own poetic style up to that point, and burned most of the negative and prints of his previous works. From there he switched to a ”dictionary” like style of photographs presented in a physical manner while eliminating aspects of subjectivity and ego. After publishing Ketto shashinron, co-authored by Kishin Shinoyama in 1977, he suffered from a major loss of memory due to acute alcohol intoxication, but returned to photographing as energetically as ever one year later. Photo collections include Aratanaru gyoushi (A New Gaze) (’83), Adieu a X (‘89), Hysteric Six: Takuma Nakahira (‘02) and Documentary (‘11).

Publications of Takuma NAKAHIRA