Aleka Polis

Grounding, 2003

“Grounding”, October 2003, video 57 min. 27 sec.


Documentation of an on-camera performance which, recorded on a mini DV tape, has not seen the light of day for 18 years. It was the time of my intensified interest in death. I recorded the video in the Kampinos Forest. I was lying in a hollow in the ground, which was covered in moss. Dead limbs of trees were stabbing me, forest insects were wandering across my body, and I was trying to remain motionless. At this time of the year, the ground no longer warms you up. After around a dozen minutes, I started to feel a severe cold, which soon penetrated my whole body. It pierced my bones, the blood circulating in my veins, my intestines, liver, heart. The cold scanned my body from my head to my toes. My skin was getting redder and redder. I struggled with the trembling of my body, which fought against the decreasing temperature by forcing my muscles to work. My limbs and whole body were becoming numb. I started to lose the sense of control over my body. I rejected the thoughts about the cold, I rejected any emerging thoughts, which allowed me to become a unity with the sur-rounding space. It was the state of merging with the ground: “grounding”. My “self” melted, it be-came a point among infinitely many points: it was neither more nor less important. It existed. And this existence rooted in me and spread. It touched and filled all other points with me with in a reciprocal, multidimensional, and timeless way. I was shaken out of this state by voices of people passing by and sounds of aeroplanes flying over, which I was able to recognise. The silence and the sound of nature put me in an altered state of consciousness again.


I experienced the first stage of hypothermia. While making this performance, I was accompanied by my cousin, Alicja Truszkowska, who took care of my safety.


It was a deep experience of losing myself and uniting with nature. A sense of transformation of exist-ence.


I dedicate “Grounding” to migrants, those who bring them aid, and all who love their neighbour as themselves.

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