Recently I visited a Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb, which was created with the sole purpose of treasuring and sharing heartbreak stories and symbolic possessions. The collection houses more than 2000 items, sent in by people, who went through a break up. Each memento of a past relationship is accompanied by a personal, yet anonymous story of its contributor. Before my visit I was thinking a lot about the emotional state I was in and how going into that museum would affect me. Also, how are other visitors affected? I was eager to see if the exploitation of failed relationships of others will help me on my journey of looking for love. And is it therapeutic to see the farewells of other people? Can random stories end your own suffering over a broken heart?
On times it was really heart breaking reading these stories, but seeing how random objects get their true meaning through written word, was beautiful. You could read how falling in love actually affects people; all from momentary love stories to long term relationships that drifted apart. Sometimes I was smiling, sometimes I was crying with them. This was my kind of museum, exploring the whole range of emotions and bringing me back in the present moment through it. As a visitor, I was definitely forced into contemplation about my own life.
And what I realized was that giving an item to the museum was the way to let go. I think one could finally breathe when getting rid of the ‘burden’. And this is exactly what I want to achieve with my exhibition, as things are sometimes easier to understand if they are put into art form.
I want to give an opportunity to artists that had various, maybe rough, experiences with online dating to overcome them with transforming them into art. Or someone might just want to share their hilarious story of a disastrous date. But also the unsuspecting dating site users, the visitors, might become warned of potential dangers or distressing situations presented in the exhibition.
I will also try and encourage visitors to share their own understanding of online dating through various participatory projects.
Seeing as this is an open call exhibition, I am very excited to see how many artists respond and in what way they are dealing with the issue of online dating. And hopefully I will also help some to overcome their experiences, traumatic or not.