Belgrade tales: A love wall in Hilandarska street

Lejla Dizdarevic | Live the World

November 23, 2022

A wall telling million tales

If you could describe it in one word, you would just say:”woow!”. As I recall passing through the Old Town (Stari Grad) of Belgrade this winter with my brother, my exact words were:”Who did this and why?”. We were rushing to the movies when suddenly we approached a rather unique and bizarre attraction. While I stopped and stared at it for a while, my brother was wondering why I was so amazed. When he saw the look on my face, he replied:”Ah yes, some guy was dumped by his girlfriend, so he decided to get rid of all the things she left and put it out on a street wall. Crazy!”. He continued walking as I stood in front of the wall, staring bluntly at it for 30 more minutes, just observing each one of the peculiar objects exposed. I warn you, it is a dangerous thing to do, because you will start thinking about what each one of the objects meant to someone, imagine the people in their possession, invent their lives and stories. Then you will miss the movie and have your brother be angry with you. Either you love art or not, allow me to present you yet another among many of the Belgrade tales and take you to the peculiar love wall in Hilandarksa street in Old Town of Belgrade.

Apparently, it has all started back in 2015, when the creator of this strange exhibition found an object in his mailbox that used to belong to his ex-girlfriend. Following the example of the Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb, or perhaps finding a way to get rid of the objects that evoke unwanted memories, the creator decided to expose small number of mundane items that further spread into the avid collection all over the façade of the buildings in Hilandarska Street. But not only that, he has inspired other people to do the same thing and share items that used to mean the world to them, no matter how insignificant they seem to the others. The locals say that the creator, formerly obsessed by his love affair, is now equally affectionate towards this exhibition. According to the story, the creator made this unusual wall as an epitome of love, and nothing else, contrary to what many may think, because according to him “true love means giving unconditionally”. That is why it is said that this is a wall of love and not of broken relationships.

While standing in front of the wall of love, I saw many people passing by, stopping to see the collection and wondering whether they may take some of the items. Indeed, you can take whatever you like, of course, as the creator will not be angry. It is rumored that, in the end, the exhibition is to a great extent putting people in a temptation to take what is not theirs, but also an opportunity to contribute with their objects of great importance, and enrich this artwork. In any case, the wall of love enables each one of the individuals to tell their own love story through only one item. Although quite different than expected, socially constructed, love monuments, I believe the wall of love gives a certain mystical charm to Hilandarska street and it greatly expresses the creativity and something different to be seen in Belgrade. So, what is your story?

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