Miguel Palma’s studio visit happened in January 2016 at his workplace situated in Marquês de Pombal, Lisbon. The curators Verónica de Mello and Alda Galsterer conducted the interview with the artist. From this conversation we collected the audio. In this place, we share with you a part of the interview in which we talked about the relationship the artist has with the studio alongside the photographic record. Ultimately, we want to thank Miguel Palma for this opportunity. 


ProjectoMap: We always start with the question: why did you choose this studio and what is your relationship with it?

Miguel Palma: The history of my studios is very long. I had my first studio in the 1980’s at my grandparents’ house. It was a greenhouse and it started to be my studio when I was 20 years old, until I got 24. It was the first place I considered to be my studio, where I could invite people to come over, and have a more continuous work schedule. This one was in Sintra, Colares, and I was there until 2004/2005. Then I occupied a large studio in Oeiras, the one of the “Foundry” (Fundição Oeiras) where I’ve been until 2008. After that, I went to Lisbon to a studio near Avenida da República, where was until 2011. Then I’ve had a small studio, because I lived mostly outside Portugal, pursuing an artistic residency. That was the last place I had; it’s two years now that I’m here [my actual studio].

ProjectoMap: Do you make a difference between your studio and your house, or is the studio just a working place?

Miguel Palma: Actually, there are no differences for me between my house and the studio. When I’m at home, more concentrated about my family chores, my head is always thinking about work. So, this division is on a mental level. On a physical level, I end up mixing everything. Because here it is where all the things are built, tested and thought through…

ProjectoMap: And what are the criteria when choosing a studio? Or the studio can be a space that you inhabit in a certain way?

Miguel Palma: Specifically in this studio I found a thing that interests me alongside of having lots of space. Which is having a room for each idea. Here in the moment we see two works, two small installations that I’m building. In the next room there are more works being thought out. Also the studio’s collaborators occupy these rooms. 

ProjectoMap: Do you feel that they are like compartments of your brain?

Miguel Palma: Sure, it helps me in a certain way, because it creates an order. Separated spaces help me thinking. Outside the studio I have other people who find and search objects that can interest me. My day isn’t only to be at the studio. What I’m trying to say, is that this is a small part of objects that live here with me, because the other part of my stuff is in Torres Vedras, all these are things that over the years I have somehow exercised. I imagine what they stand for, or what they can signify in the future for a new idea. In the end, I have a database of images and objects…

ProjectoMap: We know your work for many years. We see there are obsessions, repetitions from a constant work that talks about industrial landscape?

Miguel Palma: I only like obsessions because of one thing. And that is because obsessions have a huge negative charge. But there is also a side I like. In a world where people are not very focused on what they are doing, I find in collectors a side that I admire, because I see so much more dedication. And because I don’t know anything, and only a little bit of everything, I can always image the rest.

  • Date: 27-12-2016
  • Local: Marquês de Pombal, Lisboa