Sara Alonso, 1981, Spain / Exploring the transitory nature of the temporal.

Not Alone,
or an attempt to stay
in the present

Becoming a pilgrim:
Camino de Santiago

Madrid - Muxía, 500 miles. 2016

I had been living in Scotland for two years when I started to experiment the feeling of “displacement”. The lives of others had started to occupy my own. My persona had been put somewhere else, on hold; replaced with a narrative of multiple possibilities to live my life. Faded in this distortion of time and space, I was staring at the daily routines of my friends and family through the screen of their social networks. Contemplating them, like an Olympian Goddess full of envy and desire for occupying their place.
Defense mechanism:

in psychoanalytic theory, any of a group of mental processes that enables the mind to reach compromise solutions to conflicts that it is unable to resolve. The process is usually unconscious, and the compromise generally involves concealing from one self internal drives or feelings that threaten to lower self-esteem or provoke  anxiety. The concept derives from the psychoanalytic  hypothesis that there are forces in the mind that oppose and battle against each other.

I had created an alienating sense of “self-envy” inside me where I felt inauthentic, curiously envious of my own avatars.

It was time to disconnect from these ethereal representations and start a dialogue with my persona, through the physical act of walking. I began a dehumanized pilgrim in the techonological era, making use of elements of presence -such as the light of the sun, and water resources on the way - to create a visual journey to my inner me.

I forbade myself to connect to any social network and focus only on my own presence.

This made me pay special attention to everything that surrounded me. The weight of the backpack on my shoulders and the print of my soles on the ground, everything became important; a reconciliation process happening in my body.

Little by little, the spirits of the others left and then I could carry more of myself. I would become now a collector of shadows, those of the materials that I found on my way. I appreciated the materiality of objects as new projections of my self.

Time and space interrelated in a physical presence.

But, as a technological sinner, there were

“stolen moments”

when I connected to social media. This meant the destruction of the work produced that day. As a punishment, burnt on the last day of the pilgrimage.

I couldn’t say if this was an act of purification or an act of redemption.

Take a look this book


It’s a visual journey made out of the cyanotypes produced during the pilgrimage.

©Sara Alonso 2021