Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Convalesce at the Museum of Broken Relationships

"The more her room filled up with chopped up furniture, and therefore looked like I was feeling, the better I started to feel."

Nothing quite like an ax to send the message that your relationship may be in jeopardy.

Now for those of you who've undergone that messy split, now there's a place just for you.

DETRITUS OF LOVE GONE BAD: Museum of Broken Relationships Hits Berlin

What do an ax, fuzzy pink handcuffs, a teddy bear and a wedding dress have in common?

Pamela Anderson's most recent wedding night, maybe?
They are all part of a traveling exhibition now in Berlin devoted to relationships that have hit the skids.

On the dusty top floor of a former squat in East Berlin the collection is growing with each passing week. At first glance it looks as if someone had assembled the remnants of a flea market. A bicycle hangs from the wall, while rings, teddy bears, socks, fluffy pink handcuffs and various ornaments are on display.

But the junk, unwanted though it may be, is far from being meaningless detritus. Each of the objects, many of them rather humdrum, were once full of meaning for someone. They are the leftovers of love affairs that didn't work out.

"We developed the idea of the 'Museum of Broken Relationships' where we can put the objects, get rid of them and not stay connected with that energy, but keep them and preserve them from oblivion," co-founder Vistica told Reuters.

And the exhibition is supposed to act as a kind of therapy, so that instead of destroying objects they can be removed to the museum to "convalesce" and participate in a "collective emotional history."
Perhaps the show has snowballed because it reveals just how universal the theme of lost love can be. "The more personal it is, I think, the more successful it is," Vistica told Reuters. "The response of the people really proves that. They recognized it as something sincere."

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