Museum of Broken Relationships

Croatian artists Olinka Vištica and Dražen Grubiši? developed “Museum of Broken Relationships,” a touring exhibition of artifacts from past relationships. It emerged out of their own relationship of four years, after which the break-up inspired this museum, as Vištica explains in an interview with NPR. ”When we were deciding to split up, every time people do that it’s connected with something ugly, something awkward, so we didn’t like that way of dealing with our own past, which was once really beautiful. We got this idea, maybe it would be a great idea to have a museum where you could store your emotional heritage.”

The objects are collected from their own ex-relationships, as well as contributions from friends and strangers who sent “bottles, tin fusers, straws from a cafe, a box of matches and also an artificial prosthetic limb.” The stories behind these artifacts, such as the prosthetic limb or an ax that was submitted, are voyeuristically intriguing and even poignant. I don’t attach much emotional value to objects or material goods from relationships, but a friend of mine once freaked out because his then-girlfriend gave him a pair of shoes as a gift. I’d never heard of this before, but apparently you should never give shoes as a gift because it means that the person will “walk” out of your life. And (cue spooky music) that’s exactly what happened to my friend!