Traces of Absence / Misericordiam

Missae Defunctorum (Accedit Ritus Absolutionis Pro Defunctis). Turonibus, Typographorum; 1923 + brass
105 x 75 cm

Taking the pages of a Catholic Latin mass for the dead, Francisca visualises the words of absolution. Beginning with the announcement of mass, bold in red and black letters, the lines of prayer follow as enlightened phrases; framed in the folds of golden-edged diamonds, each is drawn out for its poignancy, “…humbly the soul of… / …that day of tears… / …show us the mercy and salvation…”. Words then surpass to the bars and notes of ethereal music; as words of prayer are carried into song by a choir, the red lines of the stave effortlessly run from each line of text. Transcending further still, the gilding of folds – the shimmering edge of faith – lose the density of their pages completely, holding instead the memories of reverence and absence – that which cannot be put into words. Text and music end with the familiar murmur Amen, while the traces of their devout words fragment to a glimmering point of nothingness – space that is no longer of this earth.


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