Exhibition > Past > SEB Gallery
SEB Gallery 22.01.2003-05.02.2003
At the time, when the art of photography all over the world is becoming gradually more and more popular and both critics and viewers pay to it accordingly more attention, even to such extent that the current status of the art of photography has started to determine to a great extent the status of the whole art market, has the becoming of a photo in Estonia a full value art object still remained on the level of understanding of the 19. century. Some whisper \"photo is not art\" and many share this prejudice. Therefore must be started from the basics. Herkki-Erich Merila, Toomas Kalve and Peeter Laurits are artists, who surpassed the narrow limits of the photo world a long time ago and dived into the bubble bath of the cultural life. Their names are certain key words for those, orienteering in the modern art life, operating with which expresses the subtle art perception of the speaker. At the same time they have never remained adventurers in the ivory tower, their pictures have never been meant for only a few chosen ones.
All three of them turned to photography because of different reasons. Merila looked for escape from the army and found it in the Tallinn School of Communication, Kalve happened to run into a militia, who was interested in photography and Laurits got tired of the means of painting, starting to look for more wider systems of marking. In mid-1980ies all three of them rose quickly to the top of the new generation photo artists and as quickly started to detach from it, reaching the sphere of interest of the art world which at that time did not accept photographers very frequently. In the beginning of the 1990ies the congeniality of the three persons was also formed on organised basis, when together with some other photographers were established the group Forever Yours.
In the year 1992 Laurits and Merila founded the joint author DeStudio, which has been called the importer of photography to Estonia, in the wake-water of which also others reached the everyday lexicology of the art world. At the same time Kalve won attention with his installations, winning some important prizes. After the end of the more active acting of DeStudio all three of them have concentrated on their solo projects, also continuing the enjoyment of the advantages, proceeding from their congeniality.
Herkki-Erich Merila is now mainly known as one of the highest regarded fashion and advertising photographer of Estonia, whose pictures actively design the visual environment around us. In the year 2001 was issued together with Kaur Kender a book \"Through peaceful eyes\", which was illustrated by Merila, from which originated Kender\'s short stories. Merila uses for making his pictures the scanner, placing people gently on the scanner glass and taking after that one proof after another.
Toomas Kalve uses for his works old cameras originating from the previous turn of the century, the oldest lense was cut in France in the year 1871. Also his photos are of archaic structure and romantic atmosphere. Shading of the works and colouring them by hand takes Kalve\'s pictures back to the birth moment of photography, when the ready-made photos were rare phenomena and aura which surrounded them was something extraordinary and mysterious.
The series by Peeter Laurits was made in the year 1993, when he had just arrived from studies in New York. There he actively visited museums and soon he started to have severe doubts about the fact that the world can not only be characterised by our everyday vocabulary. Furthermore - Laurits was struck by a dangerous understanding of such a fact that different times and rooms are not actually different, but really the same. So he takes history from his back pocket and starts toying with it.