The Museum of Broken Relationships – A public space for every union that ever was
Have you ever had your heart broken? Do you own an object that won’t let you forget? Give it to us, and join a global exhibition of loss and healing.
The Museum of Broken Relationships (MoBR) is an original, internationally acclaimed museum, conceptualised by artists and founders, Olinka Vištica and Dražen Grubišić. Its mission is to provide a virtual and physical public space, with worldwide presence and global reach, to connect people through stories of love and loss.
Every MoBR touring exhibition starts with establishing a link with audience and community. It is truly democratic and anyone can take contribute. On behalf of MoBR, Otago Museum, the only venue in New Zealand to date, is now reaching out to its community calling for submissions.
The objects and stories collected from Otago residents will be curated by Vištica and Grubišić, along with the exhibits from the international collection of MoBR, into an original and unique display. They will become part of a unique archive, and will continue to tell their stories around the world.
Information about how to submit an object or a story to the collection is available at www.otagomuseum.nz/brokenrelationships.
At its core, the MoBR is an ever-growing, community-built collection of objects donated by individuals from all over the world, each one a symbolic memento of a past relationship, accompanied by an anonymous story of its donor. With a collection now numbering around 2800 objects and stories, the MoBR has become a treasury of emotional heritage, an ultimate shrine to the deep human desire to love and connect, despite the apparent complexities, differences, and conflicts that seem to define our world.
MoBR collection taps into the part of human life, which inevitably raises curiosity and voyeuristic interest. At the same time, the collection is treated with care and dignity and presented in a visually beautiful form. It is displayed in the way that stimulates the visitors’ catharsis, and nurtures compassion and fascination by the most sacred and coveted aspect of human experience, love.
The MoBR display prompts people to consider the roles that culture and history play in human experience, and promotes people’s interest in, and respect for, cultures besides their own. Contrary to the suggestive title, the Museum is full of hope, life, resilience, and inspiration, elegantly captured and embodied by its collection that every human being can identify with.
Monday 16 September – Call for submissions opens Otago-wide
Friday 1 November – Submissions close
Saturday 21 December – Exhibition opens at Otago Museum
Sunday 15 March – Exhibition closes
A Brief History of MoBR
The Museum of Broken Relationships started as an art installation inspired by the break-up of its authors. It was presented for the first time in Zagreb in April 2006.
It has since been hosted in 55 cities around the world including Paris, London, San Francisco, Berlin, Singapore, Taipei, Mexico City, Tokyo, Shanghai, and Toronto.
During its international tour, the ‘museum’ kept enriching its collection, not only in terms of increasing the physical collection, but also in terms of the social, cultural and historical content that is inherent to the exhibits and their stories. Their references often outgrew the intimate experience of the two anonymous protagonists. Each new exhibit revealed something new and valuable about the influence of culture and history on these often elliptic personal accounts, concluded with joking irony or bitter disappointment, sorrow, regret or unquenched longing. A teddy bear story from Singapore told a story of a teenage love between a Chinese girl and a Malay boy which was not approved by their family and society. Numerous exhibits from Manila, as banal as a daily newspaper or a film poster, witness how strongly immigration for economic reasons can break love, and even wedding vows. In San Francisco, a small deer made of bamboo told a moving story about the tragic loss of someone who suffered from PTSD after returning from Iraq. Numerous stories from Zagreb or Sarajevo were often marked by war in the painful and tragic dissolution of the Yugoslavia .
The MoBR was established and has been opened as a permanent location in the historical centre of Zagreb since 2010, and is the most visited attraction in the capital of Croatia.
Besides its permanent collection in Zagreb, Croatia, MoBR has been touring the world for the past 12 years, affirming its universal appeal and global cathartic power, crossing geographical and cultural boundaries by taking numerous visitors on an empathetic journey. In 2011, it was awarded the European Museum of the Year Kenneth Hudson Award as the most innovative and daring museum project in Europe.
Olinka Vištica is an art producer, born in Split, on the shores of Croatia. She holds an MA in English and French language and literature from the University of Zagreb. She is passionate about books, films, and swimming. As co-founder of the film production company Hulahop with filmmaker Dana Budisavljević, she has backed projects based on stories that simply had to be told. She has also directed numerous cultural initiatives including international film festivals (Motovun Film Festival, World festival of animated film ANIMAFEST ZAGREB). With interests that reach beyond the world of film, she co-authored the Museum of Broken Relationships with Dražen Grubišić.
Dražen Grubišić is a versatile visual artist from Zagreb (Croatia). He holds an MA in Painting from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb. Since 1989 he has been showcasing his work at individual and group expositions, as well as taking part in numerous award-winning art projects in Croatia and abroad. Since 2006 he has been co-curating the international exhibitions of the Museum of Broken Relationships, including the display of the permanent museum in Zagreb established in 2010.
Dražen and Olinka’s joint exploration of the subjects of memory and love has taken them from the depths of self-scrutiny to the heights of the Rocky Mountains; from the straight eighteen-lane highways of Metro Manila to the crooked Proustian trails: from a stranded shipping container in Zagreb all the way to the Cape of Good Hope.