Broken Light (2010) Rudolf Teunissen

Hans Wilschut
About the artwork

For the first time in the Netherlands, a work of art was made that takes over the public lighting of an entire street. Broken Light is an installation that is invisible during the day, but fills an entire street at night from the sidewalks to the facades. It can be found in the Atjehstraat on Katendrecht. This street was one of the main streets of the peninsula in the last century, but has lost that role. In recent years, the municipality has invested a great deal in new construction on the Maaskade and renovation of the Deliplein, between which this street was a bit ineffective. This was one of the reasons for being prestigious Broken Light to install in the Atjehstraat. Lighting designer Rudolf Teunissen made a two-part work of art. Vertical light paths are projected on the facades and an organic pattern on the sidewalks. The lighting design gives the street a fairytale character. For this unique project, eighteen special fixtures have been produced by Max Designers. These luminaires replace the regular street lighting. Light in the public space is a technically complex matter and requires a lot of preparation time. Many parties and financiers were involved in this project, including District Municipality Feijenoord, Municipal Engineering Office, Woonstad Rotterdam, Urban Planning and Housing Department, Fonds BKVB, residents Katendrecht, Marinus van der Voorden, Lens BV and Public Works Public Lighting Management. Broken Light originated from DeliLight: a multi-year light study at Katendrecht organized by artists' collective De Player with support from the CBK Rotterdam and Pact op Zuid. Broken Light was unveiled on an ice-cold November day in 2010 in a crowded street with lots of cake and zopie. Coordinator Peter Fengler thanked dozens of parties who had cooperated, then a snow machine was turned on and Sinterklaas came by as a surprise unveiling act to congratulate the artist. A few more surprises followed in the course of 2011: Broken Light was cited by various international media and received nominations for international prizes. In June it won the Lumiville award 2011 in the 'le Prix de l'espace public' category' (Lyon) and the LAMP Award (Barcelona). Given the young but striking tradition of light art in Rotterdam, Luci had already organized an international symposium in the port city in 2007, and this organization also nominated Broken Light in 2011 as 'best practice' in the 'Social Lighting' category.

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About the artist

Rudolf Teunissen is a light designer from Rotterdam. With his company Daglicht & Vorm, he develops light design, in which daylight and artificial light play an important role. Characteristic of his designs is that he wants to create a new space to experience with light.