Probably not a great first-date venue, the touring Museum of Broken Relationships is coming to London – bringing with it its cornucopia of oft-bizarre relationship detritus.
A ‘does-what-it-says-on-the-tin’ type of institution, the Museum of Broken Relationships displays objects relating to past affairs, all of which have been donated by broken-hearted contributors.
The collection ranges from the expected – an I Love You Teddy (I love you – WHAT A LIE! DAMN LIES! says the contributor); to the poignant – a wedding dress; and the downright disturbing – the Ex Axe, used to chop up the furniture of a dumped girlfriend and the Divorce Day Mad Dwarf, disfigured after being hurled at the car windscreen of an ex-husband.
The Museum of Broken Relationships has a permanent home in Zagreb, Croatia, and is the work of designer and artist Drazen Grubisic and film-maker Olinka Vistica, who contributed one of the museum’s first objects – a wind-up rabbit, a memento of their own former relationship.
The touring show is in London until 4 September, housed at the Tristan Bates Theatre in Covent Garden.
Laura Kriefman, creative producer at the venue, says, ‘Despite the museum’s name, the exhibition is full of hope, life, resilience and inspiration,’ while the museum’s founders say, ‘The museum offers a chance to overcome an emotional collapse through creation: by contributing to the museum’s collection.’
As well as hosting the collection, Tristan Bates has also been collecting local artefacts and stories of heartbreak to go on show, as well as commissioning artists, theatre-makers and performers to create work responding to the collection – including paper-cut artworks and exhibition design by Alice Bray.
The Museum of Broken Relationships is at Tristan Bates Theatre, London WC2, until 4 September.