The Museum of Broken Relationships opened in LA over the weekend. It’s a collection of donated items from individuals all over the world, each symbolizing a broken relationship. Next to each item is their story as the donor sees it. It’s heavy.
Although the majority are about broken relationships with lovers, there are others as well. Broken relationships with parents, with friends, even with their past sense of selves. There is generally a sense of therapeutic release behind each donation; many note it’s the last reminder/momento they’ve been holding on to.
It was a really well done and touching exhibit. J and I read every single story and were moved by many of them. I love how the objects, on their own, are mostly plain things that you’d normally not even notice. However, coupled with their stories, they become powerful symbols imbued with emotion and history. One example that stays in my mind is a nondescript blue blouse, plain and maybe even on the frumpy side. But the woman describes how it was the shirt she wore to the lunch where her husband of 30+ years calmly announced he was leaving her, leaving her in shock as her tears arrived along with her food.
I’m intrigued by those insultingly ironic contrasts too; in the midst of something earth shattering for one person, everyone else’s normal lives keep on going.
I think it was good to go at a time I was happy in my own life, or else it might have been pretty difficult to get through. It’s a very human experience. The only downside is its odd location in the middle of the sensory assault that is Hollywood Blvd. I feel it belongs in a much more quiet and introspective setting.
Here are pictures from the gallery and some of my favorite pieces. The gallery is $18 and the space is small, so it’s really only worth it if you are into these kinds of things (like I am).
I will say one unfortunate consequence of going through a real heartbreak is, I think, no matter how happy you are later on, you will always feel in the back of your mind that it could happen again. But, that is life, and you can only control your actions and reactions.
Although it was sad, it really actually left me inspired and motivated. People love stories. There’s so much to do.