by Krzysztof Sienkiewicz


Yulia Krivich is a laureate of the ShowOFF (2015) section of the Polish Photomonth festival that takes place annually in Cracow. Her project was presented in a form of a book, designed and curated by Ania Nałęcka from Tapir Book Design.

I’ve been to Ukraine several times during the year and I’ve noticed a certain coincidence: each time I go home, a significant event is about to take place. I’ve felt that this is somehow connected to the anxiety within me. […] This is a complex presentiment of a conflicted land lost in contrasts. This is an intuitive attempt to record the subconscious and my own anxiety.
- Yulia Krivich about ‘Presentiment’

© Still from the book 'Presentiment' by Yulia Krivich

In ‘Presentiment’ Yulia Krivich shows us how to tell a deep, difficult story using intuitive, subtle manners. Her photographs look as if they were taken spontaneously and as a set they create a very unsettling visual layer. Everyday photographs and snapshots mix with images that seem to be staged. Yet the longer we look, the less certainty we have which of them were really staged and which were not. Perhaps each and every one of them? Or perhaps absolutely none. People appear in the pictures, but we hardly see any faces. Krivich confuses us with a combination of seemingly pleasant images and a dose of disturbing ones. Photographs of a rainbow, a swan or a cloud in the sunset light are suddenly squashed with images of scars, people in masks and with tattoos or others in military uniforms. Something is about to happen or has just happened – this sensation, the title presentiment, haunts the viewer from the very beginning.

© Still from the book 'Presentiment' by Yulia Krivich

One will not find too many words in this book. There is only a short description located in a place that could be called the end of the book. However, apart from the informative aspect, it draws attention to one particular issue – this text comes in four languages: Polish, English, Ukrainian and Russian. The same applies to the title placed at the spine of the book. Even though this choice of languages seems natural, it also plays a role of a gentle reminder of the events that created the background for Krivich’s story. Although Krivich declares that this project is about «young people and the uncertain realities of their beings», while «not about their geographical locations», particular associations remain in the back of our minds.

© Still from the book 'Presentiment' by Yulia Krivich

Just like the project, the book is constructed in a subtle manner. Despite the hardcover, it seems to be fragile, vulnerable like the young people in the photographs. Its design (by Ania Nałęcka) is very unique – we see pictures printed on a magazine-like paper, which are folded in such a way that to some extent they function separately from the cover. Handling the book not only requires a bit of care, but also arouses curiosity, as we are forced to unfold it in order to experience it.

© Still from the book 'Presentiment' by Yulia Krivich

‘Presentiment’ by Yulia Krivich is one of those books that are characterized by a perfect match of their design with the story told in the photographs. It may not be large in size and eye-catching, but it hides a thought-out story served in a marvelous way.

* Quotes taken from Yulia Krivich’s website


More info on the book from HERE 
Yulia Krivich