Ken Grant’s photographs, made in the context of long-term photographic research into the representation of –and definitions of- working class communities in the Northwest of Britain are drawn from engagement and long term associations with his subjects. The work that contributed to this key exhibition for the Krakow Photo month of Photography was a response to a process of urban ‘stripping’, in which local men from a disenfranchised region of Birkenhead, Merseyside reclaimed clothes and other resources from waste tips and former industrial locations. Rather than a response to economic conditions, the practice photographed was an integral part of the district’s character, with an alternative economy established within close and discreet social circles. Grant’s photographs fore-grounded the young men living within the North end of Birkenhead who, despite financial impediments, maintained an integrity through dress and specific styling attempted and referenced in the more affluent circles of fashion culture. The work drew on the use of portraiture and observed documentary photography. It was made in association with -and with the cooperation of- a network of men who deployed unorthodox strategies to build an independent economy for themselves.The work was produced as a series of photographs that formed part of a major exhibition in the Krakow Festival of Photography, Krakow, Poland. Grant worked with the curator Jason Evans to edit and integrate photographs as part of a narrative that challenged accepted/ authorized recent histories of youth culture and social resistance. The exhibition was shown in May 2010, before it traveled to Brighton, to become part of the Brighton Photo Biennial, directed by Martin Parr under the title, New Documents October 2012.
|Publication status||Published - 5 May 2010|
- Ken Grant
- working class