‘WARTAAL’ is a playground for language and performing arts the studio has designed at contemporary art gallery TENT Rotterdam. Wartaal is a collaborative project by TENT Rotterdam, Theater Rotterdam, writer Raoul de Jong and StudioSpass. Visitors are invited to make their first steps in this magical world and discover what performance art is and does. In addition to performance as an art form, language is also an important theme. A full alfabet of 26 activities makes visitors perform and explore language in various ways.
The playful typography system the studio designed plays the main visual role and can be found and everywhere within the space. All interactive elements have been designed in a red color to make visitors navigate the space intuitively. It encourages visitors to play, make and discover terrain in which they are challenged to shape their view of the world. To get visitors in the right head space an introduction video was made that also serves as the secret entrance into the space. In the video visitors are encouraged to dress up and compile their own ‘letter suit’ and jump into the adventure. The biomorph visual language of dada artist Hans Arp served as inspiration for the original floor plan design
Dadaism is a great inspiration overall for WARTAAL; Dada artists radically returned to their childish creativity and let chance play a major role in the creation of their work. In poetry, the Dadaists wrote absurd poems full of incoherent nonsense, sometimes consisting only of pure sounds. Collage and assembly were commonly used techniques. In addition, Dada artists often created temporary art such as performances. It was originally a very politically committed pacifist movement of left-thinking artists who opposed society. This resistance, or at least making your voice heard, whether or not in the form of protest, has a place in the project.