Hier was ik / Then me now

Hier was ik / Then me now is a book about a woman who creatively tries to survive a generation clash by incorporating everyday objects and lifestyle of the past into the present.

Nominated for the Unseen Dummy Award; exhibited at the photo festivals of Naarden, Belfast, Unseen, Fotoboek!, Schiedam, Athens and Arles.

Hier was ik (Then me now)
Artist book, 205 x 255 mm, 112 pages.
Photographs; Dutch & English text.

Concept, edit and photography: Jorinde Beijerling
Graphic design: Saskia Bosch; Rosan Dekker (cover)

Background info:

Hier was ik (Then me now) is a book about Ellen, a woman who engages in vintage styles. The design refers both to a history book and a diary and shows images from her photo albums as well as my recent pictures. The caption texts are based on interviews with Ellen.

At the end of the 1970s, by her 18th birthday, Ellen starts wearing remarkable outfits and finds vintage loving partners, instead of going for a professional career. It made me wonder: is this the logical outcome of a conservative upbringing? A way to rebel against the feminist Zeitgeist? Or the strategy of an unusual individual to take control of her own life? Perhaps all three all right.

The choices of someone like Ellen lead to an out-of-the-box life. What I find interesting about her story, is that it’s ambiguous. People rarely make consistent choices in life, but unlike many of us, Ellen is very open about not wanting to fit into a particular box. She instead immerses herself into an imaginary and contradictory history. This enables her to survive, while times and norms around her are changing.

Black-and-white photos from Ellen’s albums. I have asked for permission to publish these pictures from all the makers that I succeeded in tracking down. People that I didn’t manage to track down, can contact me at jorindebeijerling@gmail.com.

Further Projects