Joaquín Palting

I create visual narratives that permeate the conscious and the unconscious in ways that are familiar and estranged. These stories come to life through photography, video, and performance.

Recently, I have focused on the liminal space found at the convergence of humanity, nature, genetic memory, and ethics, especially in the context of postcolonialism and late capitalism.



Every person of color has a place, person, or thing…a refuge where they seek respite from the aggression
of day-to-day existence. Refugio is an ongoing series of portraits that explore the spaces where people of
color find peace and a sense of safety. For some this could be outdoors in nature, for others it might be
surrounded by family.

Refugio was prompted by a conversation that I recently had with my father, who is an academic and civil
rights activist. When I was 4 years old he moved us from the United States to the prairies of Canada. The
reason was that he got a post-doc at the University of Alberta, but in reality, he had been wanting to leave
the U.S.for years. America, as is the case for many people of color, is representative of a “freedom” that
they have never experienced. One in which they may simply exist.

My parents got divorced a year after we moved and my father took a job 2500 miles away in Mexico City.
His decision to move so far away confused me in ways that I have been trying to understand my entire
life. As I grew older, I would often ask him why he had made such a drastic decision. The answers he
gave never quite sat right with me. On our last conversation about this, I finally understood when he told
me that, “…as a person of color Mexico was the only place I had ever been where I felt comfortable in
my own skin. It was a place where I felt safe.”

To view more of ‘s work please visit his website.