If you ever find yourself wondering where to place all the gifts and special things you have shared with your now-ex, you don’t have to set your eyes on the trash bin. The Museum of Broken Relationships has its doors open to teddy bears, pictures, suitcases, pillows, and just about anything that defines your old relationships. The Museum was created in a particularly unique circumstance: Olinka Vistica and Drazen Grubisic, a pair of artists who went out together from 1999 to 2003, suddenly found their relationship at an end. Eager to find a place to shelter things that were of sentimental value to their relationship, Vistica and Grubisic created the Museum.
The Museum of Broken Relationships grew from a traveling exhibition revolving around the concept of failed relationships and their ruins. Unlike ‘destructive’ self-help instructions for recovery from failed loves, the Museum offers a chance to overcome an emotional collapse through creation: by contributing to the Museum’s collection. Whatever the motivation for donating personal belongings – be it sheer exhibitionism, therapeutic relief, or simple curiosity – people embraced the idea of exhibiting their love legacy as a sort of ritual, a solemn ceremony. Our societies oblige us with our marriages, funerals, and even graduation farewells, but deny us any formal recognition of the demise of a relationship, despite its strong emotional effect. In the words of Roland Barthes in ‘A Lover’s Discourse’: “Every passion, ultimately, has its spectator… (there is) no amorous oblation without a final theater.” Conceptualized in Croatia by Olinka Vištica and Dražen Grubišić, the Museum has since toured internationally, amassing an amazing collection. Although often colored by personal experience, local culture and history, the exhibits presented here form universal patterns offering us to discover them and feel the comfort they can bring. Hopefully they can also inspire our personal search for deeper insights and strengthen our belief in something more meaningful than random suffering.
You can visit the Museum’s website here.
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