Review by Peter Allen
Slanted started out in 2004 as an online blog with a particular orientation towards type design, and as its creators Lars Harmsen and Julia Kahl travelled for work or holidays they met many different creative people seeing how they lived and worked and the variety of these different practises became an increasingly important feature of their writing. The scope of their vision widened accordingly, Slanted came to include features on photography, graphic design, illustration and a print edition was started as a side project. With the means to give certain topics on the blog a deeper treatment of the design scene as it stands in a particular country or city, the resulting content is an entirely personal selection giving equal coverage to both upcoming and established creatives.
Designs created by a german initiative #2605 for the 2019 European elections served as inspiration for the cover of this issue.
Slanted 34, the Europe issue came about in 2017 in a Vienna coffee shop where Julia and Lars were participating in a design festival. A populist nationalist party had just made considerable gains in the country’s elections, a trend being repeated all too frequently across the continent. The idea came to them there and then for a fitting riposte which would be to give artists in every country of the continent an open platform to voice their own, individual, positive and negative views about Europe.
It’s proved to be an ambitious project in all aspects: research, commissioning, curating, editing, designing, 4 months non-stop, involving sending out over 1,000 invitations to artists, writers, activists and the laying-out of 300+ responses. The resulting body of work is an impressively broad assembly of texts, photography, illustration, graphic design expressed through the full range of graphic mediums; posters, photos, drawings, prints and collage communicating a great variety of reactions including; subversion: Grigri Starterkit, Daniel Fischer, DE; romantic: When You Wake Up Tomorrow We’ll Be In Italy, Milena Gwinner, DE; editorial: (Dis)united We Stand, Klaas Verplancke, BE; reflective: Together, Kurrpa Hosk, SE; conceptual: Cultural Field, Protey Temen, DE/RU; humour; Chess Club, Jindrich Janíček, CZ; poetical: Collective/Individual by Helmo, FR.
Jindřich Janíček, Prague (CZ). Chess Club; The Czech relationship with European Union seems to be complicated…