Stock Exchange 1998
Super 8 transferred to video
Dimensions (H x W x D)
2:22 looped duration
City of Melbourne Art and Heritage Collection
© Courtesy of the artist and Sutton Gallery
Laresa Kosloff has a keen interest in performance, the human body and the body’s capacity for agency, particularly as an intervention into social spaces and activities. Super 8 film and video are two favoured media through which she considers the various representational strategies for figuring the body.
The three Super 8 works held in the Art and Heritage Collection – ‘St Kida Road, ‘Stock Exchange’ and ‘Fountain’ – record social interactions in public places, documenting very specific human activities against the built fabric of the city. Super 8 works against the familiar spatial and temporal anchoring of the moving image, its flat, grainy, monochromatic character encouraging us to consider the imagery more conceptually as exercises in thought and analysis than as narrative representations. The distanciation the medium creates also, perhaps, prompts us to reflect on our own role and processes in the act of looking.
It’s hard not to be reminded of Hitchcock’s ‘Rear Window’ when viewing Kosloff’s ‘Stock Exchange’. In this silent 2:22-minute looped work, made in 1998, the camera reads as if stationed in a glass-fronted lift in a transparent-walled atrium of the Australian Stock Exchange. In the foyer, people enter and exit; it is an anachronistic space of polished granite, classical columns and tropical palms, a foil to the more mundane offices above. The camera takes the viewer vertically through the atrium. Moving both up and down and stopping briefly on some floors, it perhaps reflects the movement of stocks and the attendant rise and fall of fortunes. The fluid camera movement frees us from our usual grounded perspective, as our view remains largely horizontal. Some offices are peopled, others are not. Workers are at desks or on foot, focused, engaging with others, working, trading, walking, talking. The camera zooms in and out – the film’s grainy texture changing with focal length – documenting what seems like incidental human activity in the much-orchestrated world of global commerce.