November 3

Stage 3 // Puente la Reina – Estella [21,6]

Third day, and we have over 21 kilometers ahead of us. Our boots start to fit better already, but it is still better not to think about the way to go. Let’s enjoy!

We cross the bridge (puente) of the queen (reina) and take the trail. Looks like we are surrounded by vineyards, but the best is still to come in a couple of days. We cannot really divert a lot from the route, but to the South we leave some contemporary archaeology from the Carlist wars. When we reach Estella (Holy Sepulchre church in the image), people tells us to go to a rather spooky park (Parque de los Desvelados). Maybe we could rest a bit and enjoy the town. It is beautiful and full of history. Maybe we should get a local guide.

Sophie Durbin


Pilgrims of the early medieval world traveling to the Holy Land transformed sacred topography into collectible artifacts by archiving soil, rocks, and pieces of relics into portable reliquary boxes (see: examples from the Sancta Sanctorum treasure in the Vatican). The boxes allowed travellers to access their devotional experiences by interacting with these blessed materials after their journeys ended. Drawing upon perceptions of place in medieval pilgrimage as well as modern artistic attempts to re-conceptualize place, this digital exhibition transforms materials of the suburban Minnesota landscape into contemporary relics through a trio of artist-made reliquary boxes.

  1. Title: IKEA Pilgrimage

Statement: With close to 1 billion annual visits worldwide, IKEA stores facilitate modern-day pilgrimages, preaching the doctrine of creating “a better everyday life for the many people”. This reliquary box pays homage to artifacts collected by religious pilgrims in the medieval era via 12 found objects gathered at the suburban Bloomington (MN) IKEA. The box’s contents investigate various themes, including capitalism, sustainability, interior vs. exterior topography, affordability, and worship, while raising questions about contemporary delineations between material and spiritual pilgrimages.

Artist: Tricky Position is a creative collaboration between Naomi E. Crocker and Michael Legan.

Naomi E. Crocker is a Minneapolis-based artist, whose work explores the boundaries between seemingly-disparate disciplines. She is drawn to acts of facilitation, but also utilizes performance, sculpture, sound, installation, and text-based practices. Naomi’s projects often consider humanity’s relationship with language (oral, written & gestural) and she is frequently inspired by linguistic histories, processes, and structures. Naomi holds a B.A. in Linguistics, an M.A. in Second Languages & Cultures Education, and works as both an independent researcher and administrator primarily within museums and cultural organizations.

Michael Legan is a sound artist based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Michael’s work has been featured at the Cleveland International Film Festival, Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Film Festival, PBS, Guthrie Theater, Interact Center for the Visual and Performing Arts, and the screening room of the New York Public Library’s Performing Arts Branch. His sound installations have been exhibited at the Walker Art Center’s summer series of Sensory Friendly Sundays, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, Glass House, and at the Material Art Fair in Mexico City, Mexico. Michael holds a BA in Global Studies from the University of Minnesota.

  1. Title: Taconite Harbor Pilgrimage

Statement: In the 1950s, Taconite Harbor was a bustling two-block community of pastel-colored prefab homes, each with its own backyard and paved driveway. Now abandoned by the 1980s due to pollution from the nearby taconite plant, the town is now only recognizable by a lone street lamp, a few leftover curbs, and several fragmented house foundations. This reliquary box pays homage to this short-lived American Dreamscape, combining rocks and sediment found at Taconite Harbor with pebbles from the mouth of the nearby Cross River, where missionary Father Baraga planted a wooden cross in 1846.

Artist: Sophie Durbin

  1. Title: Mall of America Pilgrimage

Statement: The largest mall in the western hemisphere, the Mall of America is a true pilgrimage site for many of its millions of annual visitors. While other malls across the United States are rapidly emptying, somehow this remains the Mall of America reigns eternal. This reliquary box features rocks and trash collected from the mall’s carefully landscaped parking lot area, offering the viewer a reconstructed version of its incidental detritus.

Artist: Sophie Durbin

Sophie Durbin is an interdisciplinary artist, curator, and researcher based in Minneapolis. She directs programming at Pancake House, a small multipurpose art space. Her work blends artistic inquiry with academic research and focuses on the relationship between the distant past and the contemporary world, with a current focus on the early medieval period. Recent creative projects include curating the Temporary Institute of Early Art, a collaboration with the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library; developing a remote residency program for artists affected by the pandemic; and facilitating a series of Early Object Slow Looking sessions. She is a student at the University of the Highlands and Islands – Orkney College in the MA Contemporary Art and Archaeology program.

Join the conversation with Sophie at 18:00 GMT

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