In the media



On May 14th, 1940, Rotterdam was bombed to force the city to surrender to the German aggressor. In fifteen minutes almost the entire historic city center was destroyed, partly due to the fires that started. This fire boundary contributed to the architectural development in the reconstruction of the city after 1940. Many people inside and outside the city have no idea which area of the city was destroyed.





Mothership developed the concept for the Brandgrens, inspired by two special examples. Francis Alys made a night walk which he lit up every 30 meters. The effect was made visible on a panoramic photo showing all the lights.
Alys, however, was not interested in repeating this idea in a performance around the Brandgrens. Moreover, when the use of flares was not possible in connection with safety regulations, a new concept was developed based on another inspiring example: the temporary light monument for the Twin Towers.
Based on these principles, it was decided to display the Brandgrens with the help of immense light guns. 127 lamps indicate the edge of the buildings of the center in the forties on the night of 14 May. These enormous light columns each mark a point of the fire boarder. Together they draw lines with their strong light beams in the sky or on the cloud cover. Everyone can experience the destroyed and new heart of Rotterdam by looking at the sky.



Role of Mothership


Jeroen Everaert, the artistic brain behind Mothership, developed the new concept from two existing ideas that were included in the assignment. Mothership produced the artwork.



Social impact


The night of 14 May 2007 is sharp on the minds of many Rotterdammers. As soon as the lights came on, the Brandgrens became visible on the low-hanging cloud cover in a wonderfully dramatic way. Many people, and not only those who experienced the bombing, were moved. Making the historical event that touches Rotterdammers’ hearts visible and tangible was successful: the destroyed and the new heart of Rotterdam came together. The work of art also proved exceptionally photogenic.

At the request of former Mayor Opstelten, the Brandgrens was therefore repeated on 14 May 2008. The press, too, was unanimous: a unique event!