Peculiar experience visiting casino for the first time, while exiting a site specific work by Czech artist Roman Štětina; part of the Cardiff Contemporary biennale, exploring the theme of ‘communication’.
The incredible experience started immediately, by entering a long corridor winding it’s way in between the shop-floor spaces; a backstage corridor leading to a backroom in the city centre.
At the end of the corridor, a wast darkened room with aggressive and opulent reds and gold, giving casinos’ suggestions of excitement, opportunity, profit and luxury.
However, now the space was dystopian and empty; with only old CRT televisions showing still footage, and photographs in light boxes, mirroring back the space.
Referring to the theme of the festival, Roman is exploring ‘one way communication’ within TV and radio media. “The speaker doesn’t know if they are heard, or who hears them, and the listener is unable to respond”.
I certainly felt lonely and abandoned, only at the receiving end. The same feeling continued when I entered the real casino through the backdoor, only observing the number of people engaged in the casino’s games.
I wonder if certain spaces are influencing and stimulating people to observe ourselves within, to reflect and meditate.