ProjectoMap: You have lived in many countries, how were the studios in which you have worked? What interests you in a studio? What characteristics are you looking for?

RitaGT: The basis of my work in extremely performative, I consider the process of my work just as important as the end result. As such, my studios have been mainly my mind, a note book, a computer and the constant need to step out of my comfort zone! I always see the advantage in changing country and studio, because this changes, shapes and characterized my artistic practice. I’m currently enrolled in a residency in Viana do Castelo, Escola Superior de Tecnologia e Gestão, where I have the privilege of having access to two fantastic studios; a room overlooking the ocean and a professional ceramics studio.

ProjectoMap: Do you believe that the studio – its dimensions and specificity – reflect in your artwork? Is there a specific space that has had a strong impact on you?

RitaGT: Yes, without a doubt. The fact that for many years I lacked a physical space that made me create exhibitions where the gallery itself becomes the studio during the time of the exhibition. I have always been involved in collective projects which allowed me to always share both studio and ideas with others. My last studio was the e-studio in Luanda.

ProjectoMap: How was the work process in E-studio Luanda? Was it a studio where you shared physical space with other artists, or more of a conceptually shared space?

RitaGT: E-studio was both a physical and conceptual space, shared and developed in collaboration, where my role was also to coordinate.This project initially came to life due to the urge of having a physical work space. I remember when I arrived in Angola I started developing ideas for a mobile studio: a truck transformed into a studio that could go around the providences, where I could develop a community project. This e-studio project evolved into the present e-studio Luanda.

ProjectMap: The actual studio became the artwork?

RitaGT: Exactly! A complex and complete idea of the mobile studio, that can transport itself everywhere, that contains art work and tools inside has been worked on for the past years when I didn’t have an actual physical studio, this project came to life in Luanda, where it is harder to build a studio due to lack of supplies and the high rent price.

ProjectoMap: Presently you work with ceramics at the University (..) how is this new space?

RitaGT: After I decided to give my work a new direction, I had a proposal to be a resident artist in Escola Superior de Tecnologia e Gestão in Viana do Castelo, the city where I has born. I couldn’t be indifferent to the professional ceramics studio that this school has, their amazing conditions, with very efficient technicians. It’s a return to the basics in all levels! I’m working with many matters, very experimental work which is both organic and performative.

ProjectoMap: and now? What are your future projects?

RitaGT: I have many on going projects and although I’ve been working very intensely in the studio, I am still interested in organizing curatorship and production projects, as these practices are intrinsically part of my work. 

Thank you Rita,

Interview by Alda Galsterer and Verónica de Mello, Collective of Curators
Photography CreditsRitaGT
Edition: Joana Portela
Translation: Maria Taborda

  • Date: 14-11-2016
  • Local: Viana do Castelo