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1. Eija-Riitta Eklöf-Berliner-Mauer

I first read about Objectum Sexuality in Louis Chude-Sokei’s article “Machines and the Ethics of Miscegenation.” Reading about Objectum Sexuality led me to Eija-Riitta who coined the term. Later I came across her personal YouTube channel. It showed how she looked at her miniatures, her fence, a sluice gate, a bridge. And it was a chance for the film to include her camerawork and point of view. My favorite video is of her splitting logs, seeing the pleasure taken while interacting with an object given her orientation to the world of things.

Eija-Riitta Eklöf-Berliner-Mauer splitting logs

2. Eva-Maria Houben’s Breath for Organ

My friend Lorel told me about this work after I described wanting my film to include the sound of a hole. In Houben’s composition we’re hearing breath passing through the pipe organ in St. Franziskus church in Krefeld, Germany. I love Buster Keaton films because the material world is endlessly mutable. In her playing, Houben does this too, the organ becomes an organism.

3. Force Feeding Apparatus

This torture device was an early inspiration for the film, its simple craftsmanship and imagined violence. Simply looking at the device makes one think about the ways a body can be transformed into an object through violence and desire. We only briefly glimpse this object in the film but we do see it at work in a force-feeding scene from a film called IRON JAWED ANGELS. It stars American actor Hilary Swank whose body seems to be magnetized to abuse with films like this one, and MILLION DOLLAR BABY, and BOYS DON’T CRY.

4. Poems by Eija-Riitta and Mary Richardson

Both Eija-Riitta and Mary Richardson wrote poetry. Fragments of Richardson’s love poems end a series of newspaper clippings about her vandalism and arrest.
Eija-Riitta website isn’t available anymore but one of her poems to the Berlin Wall is hosted here.

5. The Women

A few favorite images of muses Mary Richardson and Eija-Riitta.

6. A.L. Yarbus’ Eye Tracking Studies

A.L. Yarbus was a psychologist and early eye-tracking researcher. He used a suction cup device on his subjects’ eyes to track their scanning patterns while looking at a complex image. One of his most famous experiments used Ilya Repin’s painting “The Unexpected Visitor.” EXHIBITION references this experiment and quotes the prompts he used in these instructed viewing sessions: “Remember the clothes worn by the people, Remember the position of the people and objects in the room.” In my research I found another version of Repin’s painting with a female visitor title “Unexpected.”

7. Newspaper Coverage of Marcel Duchamp’s “Étant donnés”

The opening section of the film riffs on Duchamp’s final artwork “Étant donnés.” I wanted the newspaper scan of a woman viewing his work to be both leering and mechanical.

8. The Klein Bottle Cum Candlestick Holder

The cheeky newspaper caption covering the British Association Annual Festival of Science introduced to me what became an essential idea to the film—the Klein bottle, a material realization of an abstract idea, then forced into functionality.

“Alan Bennett shows some of his developments of a Klein bottle at the British Association Annual Festival of Science at Birmingham University today (Thursday). The intriguing but virtually useless object has only one surface, liquid cannot be poured into it, nor if it was filled could you pour it out few of the creations can stand up and Alan was almost disappointed to find out that some of the designs could hold a candle.”

If you’re looking for a Klein Bottle, I highly recommend contacting Cliff Stoll: www.kleinbottle.com

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