Replay Event: Tante Simone, A Conversation with Dominique Nabokov and Gini Alhadeff
‘I wanted to make this book—this memoir, this memory of the house of someone who had meant a great deal to me, to us all, and of a universe which was a sort of laboratory for what I was to become’. —Dominique Nabokov
Photographer Dominique Nabokov was raised by her aunt Simone from the age of four, in a detached house surrounded by a garden in the French town of Compiègne. Those formative years would be a blend of everyday life and of vivid daydreams propelled by her fascination with New York, Hollywood and its stars. After her aunt’s death in 1999, Dominique decided to photograph the house, as it was, to keep a record of the place where it all began and a memory of the time behind it.
On Tuesday, January 16, photographer Dominique Nabokov discussed her latest book of photography, Tante Simone, with Gini Alhadeff, who gave a glimpse into Dominique’s extraordinary life story in a short and insightful foreword. Tante Simone follows Dominique’s celebrated Living Rooms series, which intimately portrayed the interiors of the cultural nomenclature in New York, Paris, and Berlin, the three pivotal cities for the photographer.
Dominique Nabokov (photographs) was a regular contributor to The New York Review of Books and her portraits were featured in their 2009 Desk Diary and their fiftieth-anniversary catalogue, Dominique Nabokov: The World of ‘The New York Review of Books’ (2013). Her three previous books New York Living Rooms, Paris Living Rooms, and Berlin Living Rooms were recently republished by apartamento, and have resulted into solo exhibitions at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs and Galerie Patricia Dorfmann in Paris and Staley-Wise Gallery in New York. Nabokov divides her time between the United States and France. Dominique Nabokov is currently working on a book of portraits to be published by apartamento.
Gini Alhadeff is the author of a memoir, The Sun at Midday, Tales of a Mediterranean Family, and of Diary of a Djinn, a novel, both by Pantheon. She has contributed to The New York Review of Books; translates from Italian to English, most recently Natalia Ginzburg’s first novel The Road to the City for the Storybook ND series by New Directions which she curates, and Fleur Jaeggy’s I Am the Brother of XX (New Directions 2018) which was awarded the 2019 John Florio Translation Prize by the British Society of Authors. She edited the anthology of poems by Patrizia Cavalli, My Poems Won’t Change the World (FSG 2013, Penguin UK 2019).