CLICK ON WALES REVIEW | THE FRONT LINE IN CARDIFF AFTER DARK
Susie Wild examines a snapshot of the capital’s after-hours wrecked zone delineated by Caroline Street and St Mary Street
October 13th, 2012
Polish-born, London-based photographer Maciej Dakowicz brings a sobering outsider’s eye to the night-life of central Cardiff, where he lived for seven years, co-founding the Third Floor Gallery. All the world’s a stage, but this photographer’s insightful gaze returns again and again to the performances of punters and pranksters on parade, imbibing on St Mary Street and then later stuffing faces and each other outside Tony’s.
He conjures tales of cowboys and Casanova, cigarettes and regrets. Cardiff After Dark is a hyper-real world, fuelled by Jaeger shots, graffiti-scrawled emotions and outfits and lipstick with the contrast turned up. A melting pot of lust, fistfights, bawling and blood-spattered brawling. The flesh-flashing mating rituals and macho tomfoolery. The headrush fun of it all, side-splitting, shirt-ripping hilarious to those in the moment, ugly to those who are not. A self-taught street photographer, Dakowicz observes, presenting us with a gulping gallery of Binge Drinking culture, freeze-framed images that hold up a mirror to our bad selves. [...]