Trying their hand at predicting and outlining a future youth subculture aesthetic, German artist Ines Hanf presents their vision of a 2090 graphic and design trend, rooted in medieval sentiments filtered through black and death metal.

INTRODUCTION BY THE AUTHOR / In my graduation project from winter 2018/19, I created a future youth culture that makes use of the aesthetics and philosophy of the Middle Ages. By exhausting the current mood of our generation in certain directions and seeking out a slumbering trend, I tried to find the right vibe for this future look. The already-existing aesthetic characteristics were clearly visible in specific music genres like death and black metal. They refer to the “Dark Ages” in their lyrics as well as in philosophy and appearance. You also see more and more people who seem to use the style of these subcultures, and so does the commercial sector. These facts fitted perfectly into my hypothesis, so I decided to take this scene as the basis for my work.  Metal fanzines from the 80s and 90s were the main inspiration. 

I used a lot of impressions and illustrations from these little booklets, reassembled them and put them within a new context – also to honour this meticulous fanwork and to bring out the origin of some current it-pieces. The medium of the fanzine itself was exciting, especially for these works, because it is simply a completely subcultural matter. In general, I have oriented myself a lot towards merchandise – besides the fanzine there are flags, stickers and posters, and also sculptures.


Being Medieval In 2090 

I am a cool kid.

Living in 2090.

I wanna look shitty, poor, starved.

I want mud.

I want scars.

I want herbs.

I want dirty clothes.

I want errors.


Is the place you were born or its history reflected in your work?

My grandmother was born in Transylvania, she lived in a very secluded village, with nothing much to do besides fieldwork, housework and going to church. It was a very modest life and their options were very limited. I think I have a lot of her dramatic and mystical ways in my veins and I am very proud of this. I grew up in a small house right by the forest. It was like my own big playground. I think that the organic parts of my work have a lot to do with all that.

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What inspires you when working on your artworks?

One big part is nature but I also need an urban environment with a lot of hustle and bustle, different people and cultures. The contrast and the tension between these two worlds is what inspires and interests me.


Do you feel a new medieval theme is coming, be it aesthetic-, ideology- or philosophy-wise?

In my bachelor thesis, I specifically decided on the medieval topic because I had the feeling that the Middle Ages will have more and more influence on youth/sub/pop cultures in the future, both via its aesthetics and philosophy. So I started to collect signs on the streets, on Instagram, in fashion, in art… and there was a lot. Just little scattered pieces I had to pick up and reassemble.


How would you define your style and which technique(s) do you use the most?

Right now, I try to combine every medium I like – photography, pencil drawings and digital experiments, I mash it all up. I could never really commit myself and stick to just one. By mixing these media, I am most likely to get the aesthetic that satisfies me. In the last months, I experimented a lot with transparent materials. They help me to bring my collage-like work into a sculptural form, which I like to install and then photograph again.


If you were a fortune-teller, what would be your prediction for the upcoming years of the art world?

I believe that there will be a lot of self-initiated installation work. Since galleries partly remain closed, artists will probably like to find a different way to present their pieces. Then gardens, forests, public spaces and also homes will be turned into galleries, photographed and shared via social media. I could also imagine seeing more natural and raw materials sculptured, such as wood and stone or grass and moss, and then combined with contemporary materials and mediums like video…

Is there any repetitive theme/tale/story that appears in your artwork?

I am always interested in everything obscure, mystic, weird… mostly, I feel like I am creating fantasy worlds for me and others. But I don’t like it to be too clear, something sweet has to have some evil vibes and something lovely must also be weird. Again, it’s the contrast that is always a big aspect in my pieces, as content as well as visually.


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BIO / Ines Hanf was born in Germany and currently lives and works in Offenbach am Main. Since 2019, Hanf has been studying at the Offenbach University of Art and Design, in the class of Eike König. Ines Hanf’s work is mostly inspired by subcultural and urban features, forests, fantasy worlds and times past.



Artworks / Ines Hanf @lynesmccoy

Interview / Markéta Kosinová

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