A Concrete Love Story

A Concrete Love Story

Eija-Riitta Berliner-Mauer explains why she's sexually attracted to inanimate objects... and why she married the Berlin Wall. (Dokument 09)

Part of this story’s charm is how the viewer is slowly and thoughtfully introduced to the surprising subject matter: objectum-sexuality. Never heard of it? After viewing this video, you’ll never forget it.

With the opening line, “It happened in September 1977. We got a television that year,” the producers offer us the first piece of a puzzle, and what follows is a delicate rendering of a woman’s lifelong, unusual love.

Eija-Riitta Berliner-Mauer at first appears to be a normal, middle-aged woman with a houseful of organized clutter and too many cats. Her scale models of walls, and the picket fence in her living room, don’t seem that odd until her sexual preference — emotional and sexual attraction to objects — is revealed. The straightforward manner in which her disarmingly open face is photographed as she tells her story almost makes the viewer wonder if they got that last sentence right. With repeated viewings, visual references begin to make sense, and subtleties emerge, such as the interesting way music and natural sounds (crunching leaves, crackling fire), are matched with still photography.

This mesmerizing video is the winning story out of nine multimedia pieces created during Dokument09, a four-day student photojournalist workshop in Sweden. This year, two members of Bombay Flight Club led the workshop, and their influence is visible in the interweaving stills and video: the composition is beautiful and moody throughout.

The team of students was given the theme “marginalization” for their project that was completed in two-and-a-half days. In other hands this subject could have been mocking or crude, but instead, the producers chose a quiet and respectful tone that honors Berliner-Mauer’s chosen lifestyle. (With English subtitles)

CHANNEL: Dokument 09

Produced by Kyrrie Lien, Markus Aarstad and Brian Cliff Olguin