During its short low-fi life the Shoreditch Twat managed to poke fun at one of London’s most infamous “up and coming” areas. Since the mid 90s, Shoreditch had become something of a home for Brit Art, hip dot-commers and mulleted media types and, over its 31 issues, it was the Twat’s job to lampoon the new residents of this part of east London. Even if the mag was, as ex-publisher Neil Boorman admits, “99% rubbish”. That said, an exhibition of artwork from the fanzine has just opened at the KK Outlet space in, yes, Hoxton…
Set up in 1999 as a listings magazine for the 333 nightclub, the Shoreditch Twat eventually became a vehicle for satirical pieces on the local area and its ever-renewing creative inhabitants.
It retained its ultra low budget appearance throughout its run (designed by Bump studio) but along the way also featured work by illustrators like James Jarvis and Will Sweeney.
As Boorman says in his intro text to the new show, “…with all the brand sponsorship and dotcom startup money floating around, everyone was thinking big and glossy. The only sensible reaction, for people who smelt a rat, was to underachieve.” And the Twat did that spectacularly well.
In 2002, however, Channel 4 commissioned a one-off comedy show based on the magazine, which went on to win a special mention at the 2003 Montreux festival.
And when it finally folded in 2004, Boorman went on to edit Sleazenation and, later, Good For Nothing (he is currently making films investigating modern consumerism and branding).
Never Knowingly Understood: The Art Of The Shoreditch Twat is at KesselsKramer’s KK Outlet, 42 Hoxton Square, London N1 6PB space until 31 December.