The Museum of Broken Relationships grew from a travelling exhibition revolving around the concept of lost relationships and their remains, offering the chance to overcome an emotional collapse through creation: by contributing to the museum’s collection.

Conceptualized in Croatia in 2006 by Olinka Vištica and Dražen Grubišić, the Museum has since toured internationally, holding 59 exhibitions in 34 countries, simultaneously creating an ever evolving, community-built collection that challenges our ideas about heritage.

Whatever the motivation for donating personal belongings – be it sheer exhibitionism, therapeutic relief, or simple curiosity – people embrace the idea of exhibiting their emotional legacy as a sort of ritual, a solemn ceremony.

Our societies oblige us with marriages, funerals, and even graduation farewells, but deny us any formal recognition of the demise of a relationship, despite its strong emotional effect. In the words of Roland Barthes in A Lover’s Discourse: “Every passion, ultimately, has its spectator… (there is) no amorous oblation without a final theatre.”

The objects and stories exhibited at MODO are a selection of the donations received in Mexico, along with others collected previously all over the world. Colored by personal experience, local culture and history, the exhibit presented forms a universal pattern waiting for us to discover it and to feel the comfort it can bring.

People and objects likewise can never be completely forgotten or discarded and if these diverse, elliptic narratives convey something universal about their tellers, it is the determination to step out of isolation, the desire to share, the longing to heal.

We would like to thank all anonymous memory holders whose histories made this exhibition possible.

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