Stephen Drennan (steviecat) wrote in bypasszine,
Stephen Drennan

Garageland # 1

Due thrice yearly, Garageland hails from the same stable as the now defunct Arty, its editor being that latter publication's Cathy Lomax. Each issue of Arty's larger-format, glossy (though with appealingly matt cover) successor focuses upon a particular theme - in this instance machismo (relating to the five-artist exhibition of that name at the mag's HQ Transition, Lauriston Road, London E9 (until 12th February)).
Lomax herself provides three excellent paintings of skinhead girls, whose attire "made them look superficially like the boys". Russell Herron (who runs the ICA Bookshop)'s text piece Brian Dennehy lists the names of around four hundred males, from fiction as well as real life, making evident the enormous diversity that exists in ways of being a chap : Dracula rubs shoulders with Davy Jones, Norman Stanley Fletcher, Donny Osmond, Tarzan, Prince Charles, Bertie Bassett, Action Man, Humpty Dumpty, Adolf Hitler, and Wavy Gravy. And James Payne interestingly explores the history of how machismo has been an integral component of gay male culture (despite the media's long-extant "gay = camp" stereotype), e. g. males who donned the costumes of straight-world men like construction workers, a subversion which continues today with the adoption of the laddish chav look. Payne also supplies a page-length machismo-in-cinema list, taking in Fassbinder's Querelle and Charles Laughton's The Night Of The Hunter (discussed by Alex Michon and Cathy Lomax respectively).
One-time "Best new band in Britain" Suede crop up in a piece on sexual ambiguity and pop; GQ associate ed Charlie Porter ponders his inability to comprehend the appeal of football and the joylessness of the accompanying V-signing by some of the sport's followers; Rebecca Knapp, one of the Machismo show's participants, explains her intentions : "to depict masculinity as performance... even a masquerade"; and Gary O'Connor's Gothnography documents the preparation for a gig, the show itself, and how a verbally abusive DM-wearer's dealt with in the gents' by the band's greasepaint-and-powdered guitarist. Plus there's something on "Art Macho" - Bukowski, Genet, Francis Bacon and Sarah Lucas.
Interspersed with these features are profiles of artists, a round-up of recommended galleries in London E8, and exhibition previews; and there's a five-page extract from a novel by Steve Lomax to boot.
At first sight of Garageland, I thought I'd miss the b&w 'zine aesthetic of Arty, but find that in fact I appreciate it just as much - and a quarter of this new outlet has the advantage of being in colour, important in an art magazine.

Received : 20th January 2006.
Size : 260mm x 200mm. 64pp plus card cover.
Price : £3.95.
Address : Transition Editions, Unit 25a Regent Studios, 8 Andrews Road, London E8 4QN.
Web address :
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