Wednesday 11 January 2012

Learning From Las Vegas, Parts 3 and 4

Having now spend hours and hours looking, identifying and recording what Venturi called 'International jet set style, Arte Moderne Hollywood Orgasmic, Organic behind, Niemeyer Moorish....Bauhaus Hawaiian' we are now beginning to get into the rhythm of this town.  As Venturi also wrote, 'people are looking for illusions: they don't want the world's realities', then here is certainly the place for it'.  We've ventured into every resort on the Las Vegas boulevard and recorded everything that grabbed our attention which also has a 'non-chip-on-the-shoulder' place here and we have also come to view how the environment is not enhanced through additional 'bits' but rather torn down and begun again.  This town is unapologetic, has a shameless consumerist attitude and really couldn't give a damn what anyone else thinks.  As long as the slot machines are 'ringing-an-a-blinging' and the poker tables are busy, then the smiles from the doorman will keep coming as will the drinks from the middle-aged women in their hostess uniforms of short creased Red 'satin' dresses being poured to the cigar smoking punters.  This is pure wonderful decadence and escapism.  We are in our element.....well, at least to a point.  While we could be carried away and drawn into this fantasy world, we manage to keep our perspective.  No dime or penny has been wasted on the slots and no chips bought,  in fact we probably are the anti-consumer as far as Vegas is concerned.  Sadly the rings, bells, flashing lights and fabulously glossy sports cars on turntables surrounded by the 'slots' just don't touch us, although we do love the spectacle of it all.  The symbols, the images, the sounds, the smells, the Elvis lookie-likies,  the pumping music - even outside -  its all quite intoxicating, but we can resist.
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