Everything is worthless again (1997) Jack Segbars

photo Max Dereta
About the artwork

This neon Everything is worthless again is an anagram of the well-known poetry line Everything of value is defenseless by poet and artist Lucebert. The red neon text is an initiative of artist Jack Segbars and is applied to the facade of a building with artists' studios from SKAR. Everything of value is defenseless is a work of art by Toni Burgering and has been on the roof of the building at Blaak 1978 since 16. The red line of text is a defining work of art in the cityscape of Rotterdam and the phrase has become a common expression in Dutch. By keeping the same letters, but having them take on a different meaning in a different order, a traditional theme within the arts is simulated: the succession of styles, the patricide necessary to create new works of art. It is also a commentary on the degeneration of what was originally a poetic sentence in a collection. The grand execution on the building of an insurance company provoked an answer from Segbars. What once started in modesty has now become an emblem of serious social importance. Finally, it wants to be a sanctuary for negativity, as a counterpart to an imposed positivity. The statue has been hanging from a studio building in South Rotterdam since 1997. This area is poorer and has many social problems. In this way it forms a counter image to the image in the center of the city.

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About the artist

Jack Segbars (Rotterdam, 1963) is a theoretically oriented artist. He studied at St. Joost in Den Bosch, the Willem de Koning Academy in Rotterdam and obtained his PhDArts at the University of Leiden. As a visual artist, curator and writer, he investigates the special nature of the visual arts and the role of language within the art discourse. He also works in public spaces, including the poetry rule Everything is worthless again, a detourement of Lucebert's famous rule Everything of value is defenseless.

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