Have you ever heard about the Museum of broken relationships? It’s located in Zagreb, Croatia, but has traveled the world for years, continually adding items to its collections. If you’ve ever been in a relationship that failed, you will now that after a break-up everyday objects can somehow take on a new, complex and emtionally loaded meaning overnight. That key he gave you becomes a symbol of his refusal to let you in after all; the crumpled ticket stubs from the cinema represent the last time you were actually happy together, before everything went wrong; the cheap necklace he gave you shouts questions at you from its hiding place in your nightstand. What do you do with items like that? Throw them out in fury? Burn them? Keep them in a tarnished shoebox and cherish them for years to come?
Some people now donate them to the Museum. Started by then newly broken-up artists Olinka Vistica and Drazen Grubisic, it offers people “a chance to overcome an emotional collapse through creation: by contributing to the Museum’s collection.” In its exhibitions, every item is accompanied by a short explanation.
A nasal spray from Istanbul, Turkey: “He bought this to stop his snoring. I could not go to sleep because of his snoring. Now I can’t go to sleep because of the pain of heartbreak.” A mobile phone, London: “It lasted 300 days too long. He gave me his mobile phone so I couldn’t call him any more.” (see more here)
I find this quite… beautiful. A few years ago, I collected love letters from people, and exhibited them along the main shopping street in Reykjavík. My reasoning: although love is such an intensely personal experience, it’s also… not. In my opinion, it’s our ability to love like we do that makes us who we are, makes us human. It’s something we all share, we’re all a part of.
I’d donate to the museum. Would you?