Acidia (2006)

Is a work that was exhibited at the Salón Regional of the central zone, which took place in the city of Tunja, Boyacá, Colombia. The piece was conceived for a specific site, the church of Santa Clara La Real. Mother Josefa del Castillo wrote some of the most important pages of Latin American mystical literature in that chapel. Her praying cell is there, an austere room with a desk in it. In that enclosure, mother Josefa’s place for studying and writing, Clemencia Echeverri brought back the nun’s voice with supreme care; this time, however, not by means of the auditive but rather through an image that offers traces of her calligraphy. In Acidia, the voice is heard by way of the writing. Echeverri used invisible ink, which can be perceived only in darkness, to write a literary fragment where the nun dwells on the torments of body and soul. The first encounter with this writing makes one think that it had always been there and that its presence was to be accounted for only in darkness. 

ACIDIA, Salón Regional de Artistas, Tunja, Convento Santa Clara la Real, 2006. Galería GAK Bremen, Alemania, 2012

With this intervention in Tunja’s Santa Clara la Real church, Clemencia Echeverri, says: “the phantom of mother Francisca Josefa del Castillo’s inner image – as graveness and woe – becomes manifest through writing. The wall is hostess to a voice. The act is brought back to life, as an intermittent UV light activates the indelible presence of writing and thought in the nun’s place of reclusion.

Marta Rodríguez, Art critic. 


For Echeverri, Anomie (or Acidia, in post-modern critical discourse) stood as the figure that explicated the life and writings of Sor Josefa. “Acedia,” the artist says, quoting Giorgio Agamben, is a condition of “distressing graveness and woe,” as well as, “the inability to control the incessant discourse of inner phantoms.” With this piece Echeverri intended an allusion to the profound sadness and melancholy that the mystic would have endured amid those ramparts – graves for her ego – as she was besieged by her inner phantoms. 

Sol Astrid Giraldo. 


Writing performance
UV light
Invisible Ink

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