Good morning and good bye – the exhibition tells about the happiness that doesn’t last

The Wedding dress that was never worn. Photos from the exhibition Sirpa Pääkkönen
Good morning bunny, you look so sweet when you are sleeping that I want to come next to you.
This message you can see written on a small piece of paper at the Museum of Broken Relationships in  Helsinki City museum.

That was the time when life was still happy. But what happened?
“He used to write me these cute little  notes on my birthday, when we were going through a rough patch or just to cheer me up on a regular day. We were good together, just not good enough”, writes the woman who got these notes after the break up.
A sweet note.

The Museum of Broken Relationships  is conceptualized by two artist  Olinka Vištica and Dražen Grubišić in Croatia 2006 after their divorce. The museum has since then toured worldwide. The idea is to collect objects and stories which tell about broken relationships. In Finland the exhibition was opened in May.

The objects can be very small and modest. What makes them touching are the stories that people write when they open their hearts.
You can find a baby’s shoe in the exhibition.
“On a one-month anniversary of our relationship we saw a pair of a pair of adorable shoes at children’s store. We bought them and both kept one. We were always coming up with the names of our kids we might have in ten years’ time. Finally, the relationship came to an end after two thirds of those ten years we had always expected to celebrate”,  writes Taoyuan.
A baby's shoe.

It’s not only divorces and betrayals that make the stories touching. There is also death. One of the story tellers was 9 years old when she got an old wood carving form her mother. After that mother died of cancer.

Stories tell about humiliation. “During our time together, he always  wanted me to dress like a dominatrix in bed and – even more important – wear high heels. He constantly spoke unfavourably about everything that was important to me and put me in a bad light. I lost myself in this relationship”, writes  one woman.

The things that remind about the separation can be very simple: a hundred Swedish crowns, broken Donovan single, a passport photo, puppets, a wedding dress that was never worn. The memories behind them are much harder.

An old wood carving.

Museum of Broken Relationship is open at the Helsinki City museum, Aleksanterinkatu 16, until 11th September.


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