On January 19th Montreal photographer Ana Jovmir debuted her ambitious new series What’s the Problem at Theatre St-Catherine. The series is comprised of photographs from a diverse group of individuals who each tell their own distinct story; I’m passionate. I’m angry. I’m ready for change.
With this series, Jovmir stepped away from her usual fashion and commercial photography work to create something much more intimate. Using friends and acquaintances as models, all the shoots were improvised. “As they stepped in front of the lens, I asked them to tell me about the things that piss them off. Things they’d want to change in themselves or their environment. And we just went from there,” Jovmir said.
So what inspired Jovmir to create a photo series based on the idea that anger and disillusionment can lead to creativity and positive change? “Often our freedom of creation is restricted by the society that surrounds us,” Jovmir explained. ”This project is about making people think what’s important to them. I’m hoping it inspires people to act on the things that they care about in a positive way.”
The theme behind What’s the Problem is a noble but quite broad one. Therefore certain photos in the series work better than others. It’s not that any of the photos in the What’s the Problem series are bad. Rather two photos in particular stand out for both perfectly embodying the theme of the show, and their immediate emotional impact.
Erica doesn’t just stand out because of the model’s beauty. Rather it’s her charisma and self-confidence that gives the photo a sense of energy. “I know what I want and am NOT afraid to go out and get it,” the photo seems to say.
Rosemary meanwhile is the only two person photo in the series. Immediately upon viewing the photograph one can see it speaks the most to What’s the Problem is trying to express. With only their eyes visible, both models represent that youthful determination that caring for a cause can elicit real change. It’s easy to imagine these two models just returning from a student strike protest.
In reviewing the photos for this series, it’s clear to see that Ana is a talented photographer with a long career ahead of her. Let’s hope she continues to take on interesting personal projects as well for a long time to come.
What’s the Problem will be on display until March 13th at Théâtre Sainte-Catherine, 264 Rue Sainte-Catherine E.
Photos by Ana Jovmir and Manikmati. Used with permission