Joao and I arrived in Las Vegas in the painful mid day sun. You can see this American Mecca rising out of the desert from a long way off. We booked a suite at a hotel in the heart of the action - on the strip. Rooms in Las Vegas are really cheap - they take your money in other ways. The carpet in the hotel was swirly red and encouraged vice. Our suite was huge, with lots of mirrors, black shiny surfaces and a monster jakuzi in my bedroom. The view looked out over the Belagio Hotel, a replica Eiffel Tower and Trump's Golden Skyskraper Casino. I turned on the TV and Trump was there too... looking very fake reading from a teleprompter (he's really bad at that). I switched channels and Woodstock (the documentary) was on AMC so I laid back and flicked between the view of Vegas and 1969 - Joe Cocker, Richie Hawtin, Janis Joplin etc " one="" ,="" two,="" three="" -="" what="" are="" we="" fighting="" for,="" don't="" ask="" me="" i="" give="" a="" damn,="" we're="" all="" going="" to="" vietnam"="" and="" "no="" rain,="" no="" rain."
Looking out over Vegas at night I thought of Ahmed Mater's photos of the other Mecca (in Saudi Arabia), taken from the $3000 a night hotel rooms in the Fairmont Hotel. Part of his Desert of Pharan project exploring the hyper-caitalist re-imagining of the holy city.
Didn't even leave the hotel room that first night. sensory overload. Woke up with the sun reflecting off the golden Facade of Trump's tower, straight into my eyes.