Iron screens became ubiquitous in the architecture of post-war Puerto Rico, due both to the security they provide and their ability to allow for ventilation. Spanish decorative elements add visual flair to these functional barriers.
Today, these iron fences are not only viewed as protection, but also as a piece of the island’s visual landscape. The ongoing project Graft alludes to the aesthetic and nostalgic qualities of these iron fences for expatriates by transplanting them, as wooden screens, to public locations in places outside Puerto Rico.
A subtle transformation occurs when removing the fences from their intended use and their specific local tradition. The patterns take on new valences in relation to contemporary art, while directing viewers to reconsider post-colonial visual culture.