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The Eternal Traveller Syndrome

02.04 – 26.04 / 2014
Interview Room 11, Edinburgh

Artists: Carolina Cruz Guimarey, Suso Fandiño, Ana Gallardo, Joan Morera, Óscar Santana, Igor Termenón and Damián Ucieda
Curators:  Ana González Chouciño & Antonio Cervera
“The Eternal Traveller Syndrome is the process of returning to one’s home culture after an extended period away, and experiencing difficulty in readjusting to an environment previously familiar”

When we decide to move abroad, we are not totally aware of the step we are taking. We are not only changing our address, but our lives and what surrounds us. From this moment, we don’t belong anywhere anymore, or perhaps we belong to everywhere at the same time.

This process is different for everybody. We move for different reasons: maybe we are looking for a job, maybe we are fleeing a sentimental rupture or we simply feel we have to. But for all of us something has changed forever, although we need time to notice it.

Once we have assumed the new situation it is the moment to understand the distance we have created. The journey back will never take us to the same place.

Airports, buses, trains… real places with symbolic meaning, called “heterotopias” by Foucault. Those seats transformed into waiting, become the greatest metaphor of our new lives.  They are bubbles, islands that keep us away from all those places we don’t belong to.  From this spot between origin and destination, we can observe both of them simultaneously, in a kind of limbo where time has stopped.

The estrangement will persist for a long time and we will look for different strategies to fight it. We will hang old pictures on our bedrooms’ walls; we will look for places in the new cities that remind us the old one; a patriotic feeling can be reinforced, as well as the criticism to the corruption that expelled us from our countries.

All these strategies are used in order to place ourselves in our context, to reconcile who we have been and who we have become.

This post is also available in: Spanish