Ah, spring! Trees are budding, hands are holding. A time for love to blossom. And summer! Parties are crowding, bodies are sweating — the perfect chance for that sweet love to, um…keep it casual, or, yeah…like, not for anything too serious and kinda need some space? Maybe there’s just not enough A/C for two, but within the span of a week three killer projects launched all with the same (relationship) killer theme; Lou Noble’s This is Us, Together, featuring couples’ portraits hilariously pitched to you by Lou’s ex-girlfriend, Caitlin Cronenberg and Jessica Ennis’ The Endings, a photo book of highly-stylized break-up scenes, and Museum of Broken Relationships, Olinka Vištica and Dražen Grubišić’s traveling exhibition of heartbreak artifacts from all over the world. We asked them all some moderately-relevant questions and shared our favorites below. So! Hide your man, hide yo’ wife, ‘cause break-ups are most definitely trending on Kickstarter.
Have you ever taken a photo of a couple and felt like you just captured love?
I photographed several couples last year when I was first prepping this. Two broke up, one had a baby. So…my photography can either end relationships or SEAL THEM FOREVER. Captured love…oy vey, maybe? I’ve got lots of Polaroids of couples on my walls, I’m looking at them right now, seeing if there’s Love in those shots…there’s lots of kissing, lots of nuzzling. I think, if I’ve captured it at all, it’s in the nuzzling. In the comfort two folks find in each other’s nooks and crannies. That comfort, that relaxation. There’s lots of kissing shots, but those tend to be more contrived, there’s a few of folks kissing while they laugh, that’s real Love right there.
When did you and your ex pictured in the video come around to being friends?
There was only a short period after breaking up where Tamara and I didn’t talk. I think we were sending messages back and forth maybe a week after breaking up, after her declaring she WISHED I WAS DEAD. The break-up itself was…less than elegant. COMMUNICATION ISSUES. But now we’re on good terms. Friends…we don’t hang out, but we talk, we keep in touch, keep up on each other’s goings ons. She’s married, working on a baby, doing good, which I’m rather happy about. You spend 3.25 years in a relationship with someone, it’d be a damn shame if you couldn’t talk afterwards. Friends…she’s someone I can talk to about real stuff, about real difficulties I have. There’s a depth and honesty with her that I find rare. Let’s put it this way: we’re on good enough terms that we can do a video where she excoriates me for being a bad boyfriend, during and after which we laugh up a storm. She’s a good egg, and I’m damn glad we’re still in each other’s lives.
Prince William and Dutchess Kate: doomed for heartbreak or meant to be?
I care nothing for the British Royal family. That’s a lot of attention that’s better suited elsewhere. THAT SAID, I’m sure a life lived in constant spotlight makes having a relationship oh so easy and they’ll encounter very little in the way of problems. Yep.
What’s your favorite film that you think most perfectly captures heartbreak?
Caitlin: The 16 year old in me is saying it has to be Moulin Rouge since after seeing it in theaters I cried for a week. But 8 year old me would say Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey, even though it technically has a happy ending. I guess I try to stay away from movies that are overtly heartbreaking. I get enough of that from my own work and long-distance commercials!
Jessica: Splendor In The Grass is my all time favorite heartbreaking film. I want to cry just thinking about Warren Beatty and his hotness.
Do you remember your first crush? Your first heartbreak?
Caitlin: My first crush was Mike Love from the Beach Boys. I was probably 8 years old and, I was just overwhelmed by his harmonies. I still cry and feel weak in the knees when I hear certain Beach Boys songs. I think my first heartbreak came shortly after that when I learned he was older than my dad. So I moved on to a much more realistic crush, baseball player Roberto Alomar.
Jessica: My first crush was Kevin in kindergarden. Kevin was also my first heartbreak. I gave him my precious turtle watch and I never got it back. I am still getting over Kevin to be honest. My most embarrassing moment happened when I was 16 and my boyfriend broke up with me. I lay down on his driveway and cried while my best friend waited in the car. I love the drama of it all. I hope we get to use that one in the book.
Prince William and Dutchess Kate: 4real or 4now?
Caitlin: I have high hopes. Looking at them, they look like a couple or kids that actually enjoy each others company. If they fall apart I would blame it on the pressure of being constantly watched. That’s why it didn’t work out with me and Roberto Alomar.
Jessica: Kate and William seem very cute to me. I think they are meant to be!
Have you noticed any interesting geographical trends in the items donated?
Each new exhibition reveals something new and valuable about the influence of cultural and historical contexts. We were not surprised when the technologically advanced society in Singapore spoke about their break-ups through a multitude of digital gadgets: MP3 players, digital cameras, etc. A teddy bear from the same city told us a story of a teenage love between a Chinese girl and a Malay boy which was not approved by family and society. Numerous exhibits from Manila as banal as a daily newspaper, a film poster, or an hourglass witnessed how immigration for economic reasons to the US or Canada can break love, even wedding vows. In San Francisco a small deer made of bamboo told a moving story about the tragic loss of a loved one who suffered from PTSD after returning from Iraq. Not to mention numerous stories from Zagreb or Sarajevo which are often marked by a painful and tragic dissolution of the country in the bloody war in ex-Yugoslavia.
What is the strangest break-up artifact you’ve installed?
A gallstone. The story goes something like: The third time he called me by the wrong name during sex I felt a pain in my abdomen.
Prince William and Dutchess Kate: How long till we see that veil in your show?
Dražen: Unfortunately I think they are doomed. It would be nice for it to be a lovely story of forever love, but I have a feeling it won’t be.
Olinka: I like to believe in fairy tales…at least for a while. Give them a chance that it was meant to be!