The exhibition hosted by The Museum of Broken Relationships in Bucharest is something which should not be missed by those who are in a perpetual journey of discovering the nature of human relationships.
The Museum of Broken Relationships is cemetery of objects from former relationships and it has become a form of catharsis for both its visitors and its donors. The authentic stories of pain and rage or of acceptance and fulfillment, which are attached to every object, provide a better understanding of life and human interactions.
The museum was founded by Olinka Vistica and Drazen Grubisic, two Croatian artists. After a four-year relationship, the two of them joked about storing the reminiscences of their relationship in a museum. A few years later, Grubisnic contacted Olinka to remind herself of their seemingly crazy idea. After they applied for a grant and got accepted, they began asking their friends to come forward and tell their stories. The response they received was beyond expectations and by the time they installed the show they already had 46 exhibitions.
The idea behind the concept promotes the internalization of our experiences. Olinka recalls an episode when she Googled “broken relationships” and the only results which showed up were pieces of advice on how to forget about the relationship and move on. The museum she and Grubisic created stands in opposition to this attitude. The reasons why people choose to make donations may vary; maybe they want to keep the objects in safe place where they can come and taste the sweet nostalgia or maybe, on the contrary, the memories are too painful and they choose to display the objects in order to provide a lesson for the viewers. Either way, one thing is certain: their experience is not to be lost in time.
Thus said, the museum is not only a healing method for the donors, but also a way through which the visitor are able to widen their perspective and understand multiple and diverse points of view. Besides developing the viewers’ ability to regard the multiple facets of life in terms of human relationships, the museum also leads to reflection upon cultural or political differences. The visitors can pond upon the circumstances surrounding every story and understand the wider social issues that are attached to different cultures.
One aspect that was pleasantly surprising for the museum’s creators was the diversity of the objects and stories received. Grubisnic claimed that they feared receiving only plush toys, love letters and other stereotypical objects but, fortunately, this was not the case. Thus said, the museum hosts a variety of objects, more or less peculiar, ranging from mannequin hands and axes to plastic godzilla toys covered in necklaces. Of course, the most important part is the stories in which these objects are covered. However, the significant role the objects play remains intact, as they stand as an anchor between fiction and reality and remind the viewers of the veracity of the stories. The fact that the visitors are able to examine palpable objects makes them feel more connected to the possessors and their stories.
The museum has two permanent locations: Zagreb, Croatia and Los Angeles, USA. Over the years it hosted exhibitions in Germany, France, China, Japan, Denmark, Finland and many more. The current exhibition is held in Bucharest, Romania and can be visited until October 17, from Tuesday to Friday between 16.00 and 20.00 and on weekends between 13.00 and 20.00. The exhibition is made possible by “Museums meet Museums”, an annual event brought on the Romanian cultural scene by the National Network of Museums in Romania, after the Night of Museums. The objects donated within the project in Bucharest will be integrated in the international collection.
While The Museum of Broken Relationships is a very interesting place to visit in Croatia, it is not the only one. If you want more recommendations on what to visit in this beautiful country, check out this article.