The combination of Herkki-Erich Merila and Peeter Laurits behind the DeStudio (EE) name was in many ways pioneering for the local photography scene. The group was born on a summer night in August 1992, when two young photographers came to the conclusion that, in the midst of turbulence, the most important thing was to survive as artists. In their pursuit to survive, they created a group which was simultaneously involved in the fields of both art and advertising.
The works of DeStudio cannot be separated from a particular era – the beginning of the 1990s – in which everything was changing and society was remoulding itself: at once funny, brutal, and exciting. Perhaps for this reason, DeStudio prefers to work with collage, where a whole is disassembled into various fragments, and reassembled in an illogical and surreal manner. A frequently-used motif is the body of a human being – often a pop star – which has been torn apart or is erotically captivating. These ironic approaches were also associated with the post-Soviet era, in which former hierarchies were crumbling and new ones had yet to be established in their place. Photography in Estonia was pushed into its own niche in this period: as a rule, it was not included in art exhibitions until the beginning of the 1990s.
DeStudio is presented by Fotografiska Tallinn