Artist talk: Peeter Laurits and Herkki Merila in conversation at DeStudio’s exhibition Hangover

DeStudio. The Prince and the Villain. 1993

Venue: Fotografiska Tallinn (Telliskivi 60A/8, Tallinn)
Artists: Peeter Laurits, Herkki Merila
Moderator: Eero Epner
Artist talk: 30.09.2021, 6 pm
Opening times of the exhibition: Mon–Fri 9–21, Sat 10–21, Sun 10–18
Accessible by wheelchair

The exhibition Hangover is the first comprehensive retrospective of the artistic duo DeStudio. The alliance between Herkki-Erich Merila and Peeter Laurits behind DeStudio was in many ways pioneering in the local photography scene. DeStudio itself was born in the summer of 1992, when two young photographers came to the conclusion that in the midst of the turbulence taking place in society, the most important thing was to survive as artists. In order to achieve this, they created a group which was simultaneously involved in the art field, as well as advertising. The works of DeStudio cannot be separated from their era, when everything was changing and restructuring: being at once funny, brutal, and exciting. According to curator Eero Epner, this was probably the reason why DeStudio preferred to work in collages, where the whole was disassembled into parts and various fragments put together in an illogical and surreal manner. “The work is often executed robustly; a frequently-used motif is the human body (often of a pop star) which may be torn apart or erotically captivating. The arrogant formats and ironic approach were also associated with this era in which former hierarchies were crumbling and no new ones had yet been established in their place,” explains the curator.