In the month in which female condition is celebrated, we highlighted Merc’art’s female artists. And again to highlight the end of March, we decided to interview Teresa Canto Noronha. We see her as our most conceptual artist; but, every night, TV viewers from all over the country see her as a door to the world.
Zodiac sign and birthplace?
I was born in Ponta Delgada, in the Azores. I’m a Pisces. I don’t understand a thing about astrology or signs, but they tell me I’m a Pisces with a rising Taurus, and that the mixture is noticeable. Since I don’t know, I can’t guarantee it.
Why did you come to Lisbon?
I came to study Chemical Engineering, at Instituto Superior Técnico. A wrong choice that led me to this city (which I love).
What do you miss the most from back in the Azores?
I miss everything really… All of my references, all of my past. I was born in Ponta Delgada and lived there until I was 18. All of my foundations were built there.
Even though I love living in Lisbon, and have lived in other cities and countries, I feel a special connection to the smells, sounds, and colors of the place I’m from.
When you were small, did you already walk around with a microphone, talking about international politics?
Not at all! The journalist in me was born in 1988, I’m not even sure why. It was like a love at first sight, those that, afterwards, you just can’t live without.
What excites you most about Journalism? What can’t you stand about it?
What I like the most is being able to tell stories, or report facts, that allow people to understand realities different from those they live in. Or make them aware of ones that they are blind to, because they, as we often do, choose to believe that the rest of the world is the same as the one they know.
What annoys me the most is having to hear constant criticism to journalism which is, in most cases, unfair and unfounded, only a way for people to let their anger off on the messenger since they don’t have the courage to deal with who’s actually responsible.
What would you like to do as a journalist, that you haven’t done already?
I would like to do a report on the female condition, on a global scale.
When did Artist-Teresa start prodding Journalist-Teresa?
There’s only one Teresa. Both of my Jobs are essential and complementary. In 2001 when I was a correspondent in Brussels I had, for the first time, my own house. The walls were mine, I could show my artistic work without asking anyone else. For a few years after that, I was still ashamed to show my art to strangers (back then I only did sculptures and installations). I did pieces and I would hide them in boxes, only at the end of 2012 did I start to have the courage to star displaying my art.
Maybe being a tv reporter conditioned me to that. I was afraid that my exposure as a journalist would stop people from understanding the concepts of my artistic work.
How do you manage to coordinate those two sides?
It’s not at all difficult for me. I’m both conceptual and factual. I’m not one-dimensional, and those two activities allow me to show both my sides. No one thinks of questioning a doctor who’s also a writer, or an engineer who’s a musician. For some reason, which annoys me, people choose to find this particular combination strange.
Are both sides waterproof, or do they feed off each other?
Until now I’ve never felt any superposition. Not even when my experiences as a journalist led me to create pieces or drawings. But I’m sure that may happen at any moment. Both are jobs that deal a lot with emotions.
Teresa, what’s the piece that’s still missing?
All of the ones I still haven’t done. I’m missing an urban piece, that I really want to do. I’m missing being able to display large-scale works. I, sometimes, lack time to learn, trade ideas and see more from other artists. I believe contact with art is, more and more, what allows us to work properly.