GRAFT — an interactive installation for which the artist Edra Soto at Sector 2337 Gallery, Chicago

Chicago - The Green Lantern Press is pleased to announce its Spring 2017 exhibition, GRAFT — an interactive installation for which the artist Edra Soto installs life-size Puerto Rican style bus stop benches inside of the Sector 2337 gallery, with the island’s traditional rejas on the exterior storefront. About the project, Curator Albert Stabler writes, “Even more than colonial and modern styles, vernacular architecture shows the full breadth of [Puerto Rico’s] historical influences, from before, during, and after colonialism. Appropriating the mesmerizing designs of rejas and transposing them on to structures in the mainland U.S. provokes questions. Can a nation that has so freely appropriated the land and resources of Puerto Rico, while consigning its residents to second-class citizenship and exorbitant government debt, be itself appropriated as a screen upon which Soto can project the (wooden) screens of her Boricua childhood? Or does the gesture become a multiculturalist token of assimilation, an exotic garnish that helps to erase the trauma of conquest, exploitation, and slavery? Can such an appealing but unobtrusive architectural element even register with the average American viewer as an intervention at all? Learning not only the elements of Caribbean architectural style, but learning to read all buildings as indices of complex and contentious histories, can offer a great deal to laypeople viewing the exhibition.” The first iteration of this exhibition took place at Cuchifritos Gallery in New York (Spring, 2016). It is accompanied by a two-part tabloid-style with bilingual essays by writers from a variety of disciplines—such as art history, architecture, and politics—reflect on rejas in the contexts of their individual fields of expertise. The publication also contains photo documentation of Puerto Rican residential home facades taken by Soto throughout the years.

Feb 10 – Apr 02, 2017
with an opening reception on Fri, Feb 10 @ 6-9pm
Main Gallery / Sector 2337 / 2337 N Milwaukee Ave., / Chicago

Gallery Hours: Wednesday – Saturday 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.