Krista Mölder (1972) is an artist whose work focuses on space and the experience of the viewer. Her photos and videos are full of potential – contours of perspectives and outlines of possibilities. She is primarily interested in what remains outside or beside the image.
Mölder has studied geography and has applied that experience to directly mapping various phenomena, observations, and ideas, while presenting them in a visually structured manner. The aim of one of her first series “Landmarks” (2007) was to explore the possibilities of poetic language of space and photography. This is not unlike the photo series “Inter-Space” (2016), depicting landscapes in a non-three-dimensional way, balancing between painting and photography. These images, photographed from a bird’s-eye view seem to map the impossible, while casting doubt on the veracity of photography.
In 2010 Mölder was chosen to participate in the project “European Eyes on Japan. Japan Today, vol. 13”, organised by the EU–Japan Fest. As part of the project Mölder stayed at a residency in Akita, which later led to an exhibition. Japanese architecture, for example the buildings of the architect Seiichi Shirai in the forests of the Akita region made an impact on Mölder’s sense of space. Stemming from that, her imagery displays man-made and natural forms that are reduced to almost two-dimensional fields of colour in the wider whole of her work. In her wide-frame snapshots, an abundance of details are revealed to the keen eye, however, these are photographed in a way that does not leave an impression of exaggeration.
Mölder takes photos on a medium format camera and mostly does not manipulate her work digitally. With great sensitivity Mölder finds photographic and aesthetic still lifes in parks and gardens as well as in the city and in living and working spaces. Windows, doors and other liminal spaces are a recurring motif in Mölder’s work. Mostly, these spaces are viewed from the inside out, so that the viewer is “here”, in the space with the artist.
Keywords like “potential”, “emptiness”, “pause” and “idleness” are characteristic to Mölder’s photo series that focus on in-between moments in a sequence of events – moments before the next phase. In the show “Being Present” (Tallinn Art Hall Gallery, 2012), pause and emptiness are the central motifs, in exhibitions “Non-Places” (Temnikova & Kasela Gallery, 2013) and in “Boredom is Not Far From Ecstasy” (Draakoni Gallery, 2010), Mölder applied these as a method. Mostly Mölder’s work does not feature people, however, one exception to this is “You/Blue”(2015) that depicts the artist and her friend through their dialogue, showing how it is possible to meet oneself through listening and echo.
The photo series and video “exsistere” (2016) refers to an existential condition – revealing, becoming possible. In the video we glimpse a white dog – the view to the projection is obstructed. Photos of the same title are based on a similar scenario.
In the show “Between the Archive and Architecture” Mölder exhibited a five-part photo series and the video “Not Leaving a Room” (2016, together with Neeme Külm and Taavi Talve) filmed in the interior and courtyard of Kumu Art Museum. Views into the storage of the museum have been recorded as one possible moment in the future of these eternal collections. Mölder also collaborated on the exhibition “Sinking(In)” (2017, together with Sirja-Liisa Eelmaa) at the Evald Okas Museum, focusing on various ways to approach and experience space – the two artists compared the spatial dimension, while observing their impact on the viewer.
Krista Mölder studied geography at the University of Tartu (BSc, 1994); photography at Tartu Art College (BA, 2001), at the University of Westminster (MA 2004) and Estonian Academy of Arts (MA, 2006). She has exhibited since the beginning of the 2000s. Since 2003 Mölder has lectured at the Estonian Academy of Arts. In 2016 she was nominated for the Köler Prize. Mölder is one of the founders of the Estonian Union of Photography Artists. She was awarded with Estonian Cultural Endowment’s annual award (2020). Her works belong to the collections of the European Central Bank, Deutsche Bank and Art Museum of Estonia. In 2022 Mölder was in a residency at WIELS Contemporary Art Center. She is one of the laureates for the Estonian state artist’s salary in 2023–2025.