BrokenshipsPosted: August 16, 2011
Housed in a red-roofed baroque palace in the historic Upper Town district of Zagreb, Croatia is the Museum of Broken Relationships, exhibiting the ephemera of failed love.
A Box made of Matches1973-2000
Maribor, SloveniaA box – Jelka, Vlado, November 15, 1975. Vlado made it after the wedding, when he was in the army. After 18 years of marriage he left me for another woman; we officially divorced after our 25th wedding anniversary. I decided to surprise him for the anniversary. I ordered a cake with the number 25 written on it and the pastry shop cut it in half. I sent him the half with the 25. Our sons celebrated our anniversary first with me and then with their father. He and his girlfriend were very shocked but they ate the cake anyway. The cake is gone and so is our marriage. I still have the box, two sons and a lot of memories…
(monger reaction: WHAT!? She DID NOT send him a cake! — This must be the museum equivalent to reading trashy magazines.)
Not only do these exhibits reflect the intricacy of human emotion, but they feature the weird shit we buy when in love– glass unicorns, axes, furry handcuffs. The stories of these objects need to be told and the Museum of Broken Relationships is here to fill this need.
Conceived as a traveling exhibition by Olinka Vištica and Dražen Grubišić (after their own relationship collapsed in 2006), the museum added to its collection as it toured around the globe. Giving an object to the museum became a sort of cathartic act, a ritual:
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 a 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.”
If you know anyone in Zagreb who would be willing to check this out, I’d love to chat. I’m wondering if this place is as awesome in person as it seems online.
Thanks for the tip, Jacqui!