The Story of Erath
(from the series “Voice Without Language”)
2018
HD video, sound, 13’ 30’’

This video-essay speaks about the elementary, challenging and changing relationship between human and geological scale, about merging of subjective stories with large narratives of the Earth and time.

“The Story of Erath”, is a monologue for a woman’s voice set on the background of the Atlantic shore. The video text, based on my conversations with a Portuguese geologist, speaks about the passion for science/life, and about a subjective, almost animistic approach to time and the Earth - therein under a mythical name “Erath”. If the text would be conveyed into geological terminology, its narrative would remind us of the sediments of Earth. It is made up of layers of real and fictional stories, selected quotes from literature, fragments of overheard conversations or my own personal observations. In “The Story of Erath”, they all come together on the background of a ceaseless repetition(s).

My series “Voice Without Language” also explores what our human language gives us and takes away from us, language as a way of capturing our experiences. “The Story of Erath” speaks about the emotion of a voice, stripped off the words. However, by the voice/tone meant only that which enables our human language, but also the “mute” speech of things and natural phenomena that surround us.

An excerpt from the video narrative:

The ocean.
We want to feel the rhythm, even those who don’t feel anything anymore, even those who stand outside and look on their phones to see what’s the weather like today, want to feel the rhythm, feel the rhythm.

Even those who are on that huge ship behind me, those who don’t feel the air and the waves can feel the rhythm, believe me.
They feel it but they cannot recognize it. Not anymore.

But their water and their salt, the water and the salt of their bodies rise and swing to the rhythm.

Does the ocean feel like leaving its bowl?
I think sometimes it does.
One day the ocean will leave its bowl and say:
I’ve had enough. you screwed up.


The Story of Erath (excerpt) from Katarina Poliacikova on Vimeo.