Literature - Medici Residency

Sally Bonn

Sally Bonn

13/06/2023 / 09/07/2023
Start of residency 13/06/2023
End of residency 09/07/2023

Sally Bonn is interested in writing in all its forms (literary and artistic, critical and theoretical). She is a lecturer in aesthetics at the Université Picardie Jules Verne, and is also an art critic (Artpress / France Culture) and exhibition curator. She has co-edited two art and literature reviews (Le Salon and N/Z) and directs the collection of artists’ writings Les indiscipliné.es at Macula. She has published numerous texts in artists’ catalogs and journals, several essays and a fiction-critique. In 2017 appeared Les Mots et les œuvres, Fiction & Cie, Le Seuil. His latest book, an intimate account of writing, entitled Écrire, écrire, écrire, was published by Arléa in 2022.


Her project at Villa Medici:

Sally Bonn is working on a novel, a story of fire, flames and ashes, images and magic, visions and a few ghosts, part of which takes place in Italy, from Rome to Naples and on the volcanoes. In Rome, she wishes to immerse herself in the city and to consult the archives, to meet “spirits of the air”. The novel features a woman photographer who travels to Rome and meets Ingeborg Bachmann, Giordano Bruno and Francesca Woodman, their traces or their ghosts.

She wishes to travel through the city, guided by Ingeborg Bachmann’s text What I saw and heard in Rome, with her looking at the distant and fluttering traces of Giordano Bruno on the Campo dei Fiori and following what led to his disappearance in the flames. To consult the archives of Bruno’s trial that are in the Congregation of the Holy Office in the Vatican. And, because it was in Rome that she took some of the most intense photographs of her short life, consult the documents in the Casetti Archives on Francesca Woodman, who inspires the character in the novel.

It is not so much a question of going in search of the traces of the Roman presence of Ingeborg Bachmann, Giordano Bruno and Francesca Woodman, as of finding them there and making them dialogue, of letting oneself be haunted by them and him.


© Jean-Luc Perez