Kristina Õllek (1989) is an Estonian visual artist working in the field of photography, video and installation, with a focus on investigating representational processes, geological matter and the human-made environment. She is interested in exploring the boundaries of what can be seen and used as an image and space, especially now in a time of rapidly developing technologies in the age of the Anthropocene. Õllek holds an MA in Photography from the Estonian Academy of Arts and has twice been awarded the Young Artist Prize, in 2013 and 2016. Her works have recently been shown in various international group and solo exhibitions in Estonia and abroad.
Filter feeders, double binds and other silicones is a photographic installation based on Kristina Õllek’s on-going research of Anthropocene influences on marine ecology, focusing on the North Sea coastal area and its filter feeders – blue mussels, oysters and the expanding jellyfish population. Since last September, she has been living in The Hague, on the coast of the North Sea, and has become interested in filter feeder organisms, such as mussels and oysters. They are called filter feeders because they clarify water and act as filters for polluted water; hence, they are considered ecosystem engineers. On the Dutch coastline there are many oyster and blue mussel farms (aquaculture). Most of them are in Zeeland, an area that is largely below sea level and one of the most man-engineered regions in the Netherlands (in 1953 the most devastating flooding in Dutch history took place there; the Delta Works’ Neeltje Jans dike was constructed after this). With the on-going work in process, she is researching the speculative assumptions and future scenarios that are impacting marine life, its pollution and rising sea temperatures.