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The RECORDING text almost occupies the whole screen. Get rid of it! Copy this executable openarena-hiderecord.x86_64 to your OA dir and start it instead of the one shipped with your distro!

This one is compiled from latest 0.8.8 engine (as of writing: 2018-09-07). The only modification is moving the recording text to bottom left corner.
If you are not satisfied with the binary for whatever reasons or you are using windows, here is the source:
        open cl_scrn.c
        replace this line:
        sprintf( string, "RECORDING %s: %ik", clc.demoName, pos / 1024 );
        with this:
        sprintf( string, "REC");
        replace this one:
        SCR_DrawStringExt( 320 - strlen( string ) * 4, 20, 8, string, g_color_table[7], qtrue, qfalse );
        with this:
        SCR_DrawStringExt( 0, 472, 8, string, g_color_table[1], qtrue, qfalse );
        and comment out this one:
        SCR_DrawChar( xx+2, y+2, size, *s );
save, compile, run, hf!

Note: Using this binary my fs_homepath changed from /home/username/.openarena to /home/username/.local/share/OpenArena!