Since the 1980’s Ken Grant has photographed football culture in Liverpool, his home city. From youth games and local bar teams playing in district park leagues, to the weekly rituals of match days at Liverpool and Everton, he has photographed the sport - and the city’s relationship with it - in all its forms. Rarely going inside the stadia, he has instead photographed in the streets and bars outside, at the pitch sides and on buses across the city over decades. With football serving as a central thread in the working and social lives of his contemporaries, it has always been an element of Grant’s wider work about the city. This book brings together his pictures of the game, the land and the people who populate it. A Topical Times for these Times, taking its title from boys sports annuals and the football yearbooks that prospered and inspired in the 1970s and 80s, draws on the changing landscape of Liverpool as it negotiated success and tragedy, and as a new commercial era took hold. The book is a devoted appreciation of football in the city, the game itself and those who are part of each. An essay by the writer Niall Griffiths and a short piece by Ken Grant accompany the photographs.
Ken Grant was born in Liverpool in 1967. Since the 1980’s he has photographed his contemporaries in the city and engaged in sustained projects both in the UK and wider Europe. A monograph of the Liverpool pictures, The Close Season, was published by Dewi Lewis Publishing in 2002 and another, No Pain Whatsoever was recently published in Sweden by Gosta Flemming/ Journal. He continues to work on long-term projects and a recent outcome, the book Flock was published by APB Dublin in 2014.
Ken Grant’s photographs are held in important collections of photography, including those of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Folkwang Museum Essen and other international public and private collections. He currently teaches Photography at Belfast School of Art.
“What’s important, money, sex, kids, football, wife, family work? It’s a variable order. It could be that if you are playing really well, then football would have to be first. Ken Grant’s photographs of friendship, family, the ordinary values of family life are an intimate sort of photography, not so much recording as remembering, a savouring of all those past, shared moments. His photographs have the allusive qualities of an Arbus photograph, but are taken from the inside, quietly affirming the lives that they depict.” Chris Killip Professor of photography, Harvard University
“More mawkish Liverpudlian sentimental, self-reverential crap about stuff that doesn’t really matter. It’s a city (and not a very nice one), and it’s a game. Get over it!” A Fulham Supporter who lives in Richmond
“From the Merseyside mud, scouse sweat, the Liverpool tears, this is as far from Blatter, Fifa, Platini, and (sorry to say for Ken and his beloved Liverpool) The Champions League as you can hope for, In“The Topical Times of these Times”, Ken Grant has revisited the People’s Game. And it’s a World Game, and a Beautiful Game. It’s Ken Grant’s game!” Colin Pantall
When Saturday Came: Guardian