Project info

COR WAS HERE is a personal project devoted to the photographer Cor Jaring, curated by the long-time admirer and photographer Sander Troelstra, who is generations younger. Cor Jaring worked his way up from dockworker to internationally-famed photographer, and photographed life as an adventure, with his own personality as a prime example.

Cor Jaring Cor Jaring (1936–2013) was a remarkable character who began working as a professional photographer in the 1950s. He came from humble origins and had started out as a dockworker. Between his working hours he started to photograph the marginal areas in which he moved, with friends, fellow dockers, gaugers and ironworkers as his subjects. He also used his kiekkassie, or ‘snapbox’, as he called his camera, to record mass redundancies and the cold-hearted automation of harbour work. Cor was one of those working men, and made his name as a photographer only later.

Cor Jaring gained international fame mainly through his photographs of the Dutch ‘non-violent anarchist’ Provo movement and his portrait of John Lennon and Yoko Ono during their ‘Bed-In for Peace’ in the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel in 1969. The fact that Jaring’s beloved Amsterdam was not his sole work domain, but that he also reported – inimitably and cinematically – on the hard-working poor, transsexuals, and nude models on the other side of the world was an unexpected discovery made by the documentary photographer Sander Troelstra, after he started working with Jaring to look into his archive in 2011.

Sander Troelstra After graduating from the Amsterdam Photo Academy, Sander Troelstra (1976) first became acquainted with Cor Jaring through the PS Camera project, set up by the photographer Koos Breukel, in which young photographers work using the analogue cameras that belonged to ‘old masters’. Using Jaring’s camera to photograph in Glasgow cafes Troelstra began to imitate Jaring’s working methods, and a friendship sprung up between the two photographers. Sander Troelstra photographed Cor Jaring himself over a period of two and a half years, until Jaring’s death in late 2013, a series of portraits for which he won a Zilveren Camera award.