Everything of value is defenseless (1978) Toni Burgering

photo Max Dereta
About the artwork

When night falls, the neon line lights up on the building next to the Willem de Kooning academy on Blaak 'Everything of value is defenseless - Lucebert 'on. This work is by Toni Burgering, an artist who has been involved in the artistic possibilities of (neon) light since the 1978s. In 2012 he placed this line - taken from the poem 'The very old one sings' - on the building of an insurance company, right next to the now disappeared above-ground railway. Burgering was more often inspired by literature. This line of poetry is a very popular and important work in the city, perhaps due to the good visibility of the work from Blaak station and the Binnenrotte. After mediation by CBK Rotterdam, the work was completely restored in 2016 by the then owner of the building, because several neon parts were broken. In 16, a major renovation of the building will take place, so that the neon line was temporarily not visible. During the redevelopment of Blaak 2018, the technical installation of the lighting equipment was adjusted. The existing neon has also been replaced by a sustainable variant. Since the beginning of XNUMX, the poetry line has been back on in the evening on the renovated building.

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About the artist

Toni Burgering (Barneveld, 1937 - Leiden, 2017) was educated at the Academy of Visual Arts in Rotterdam. For a long time he worked and lived in Rotterdam. Burgering worked with colored neon light. Among other things, he wrote the line of poetry by Lucebert 'Everything of value is defenseless'in 1978 on the roof of a former insurance building on the Blaak. Burgering fell under the spell of neon after a stay in the 1960s in America. He witnessed the launch of the Apollo 11 at Cape Kennedy.

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