Yumi Goto Selects

© Victor Cobo 

The premise here is simple: to ask a curator, blogger, editor, photographer or other person involved in contemporary photography to select five portfolios of work that they are currently excited about to recommend to the rest of us, placing emphasis - ideally - on work that hasn't seen heavy rotation online. The portfolios are not presented in any sort of order.

The series comes from a belief that the Internet has a tendency to briefly cohere around certain projects and, longer-term, establish its own canon of photographers, distinct and separate from the gallery and museum canon.

While these phenomena have advantages, it also has the expense of promoting a limited number of projects on a large scale, overshadowing other projects frequently equal in quality. This series, then, seeks in particular to look for great photography that counterbalances heavily distributed projects. It also is part of a general interest I have for this site to go behind the limits of my single vision, personal knowledge and time.

Today's guest is Yumi Goto.

Goto is an independent photography curator, editor, researcher and consultant who focuses on the development of cultural exchanges that transcend borders. She is a founder of the REMINDERS PROJECT. She is a Prix Pictet Photography Prize nominator, 2012 MAGNUM Emergency Fund nominator, Photo City Sagamihara Asia Prize nominator and a member of the Asian Women photographers showcase and now working as a full-time curator and photography consultant for the reminders photography stronghold.

Instead of comments on each particular project, Goto has chosen to make a single statement that refers to all five projects. She writes, "Even while they are quite personal subjects, they should be shown to the public in order to raise awareness of the issues that they touch on because these issues can be universal or important issues. Here are five photographers' projects that I have discovered so far during my research that have been working on intensely personal subjects."

1. Victor Cobo's untitled project [Shadows onto Film] is a visual response to the difficult years of childhood spent with a father who suffered through addictions and psychological demons. A full statement on the work can be found here. An image from the series is above.

© Jan Rosseel, from the series "Belgian Autumn; a confabulated history"

2. Jan Rosseel, Belgian Autumn; a confabulated history explores a dark episode in Belgian history - the 1985 wave of supermarket robberies that claimed 28 lives, including his father's. A PDF of the book can be found here.

© Jana Romanova, still from the video-flip through of Shvilishvili

© Jana Romanova, from the series "Shvilishvili"

3. Jana Romanova presents Shvilishvili as a handmade photography book object. The book questions the value of family ties in modern society via the blood line that both connects and separates her relatives living in Russia and Georgia. "Shvilishvili” is Georgian for "grandchild."

[Bad video link removed January 2023]

4. Mariella Furrer and My Piece of Sky: Stories of Child Sexual Abuse is a self-published book of photographs, interviews with both survivors and predators as well as a police superintendent and prosecutors, children's drawings and more. The book looks at the impact of child sexual abuse on individuals and on a society through her personal experience as a survivor and her work photographing the subject in South Africa. My Piece of Sky is the result of a ten-year investigation of the subject.

© Noelle Swan Gilbert, from the series "Life After Death: How Murder Affects a Family"

5. Noelle Swan Gilbert's Life After Death: How Murder Affects A Family explores this theme through photographing the lives of her two nephews, the sons of her sister Laura who was murdered in 2007 by her ex-husband.