« We have not heard about the thing to put things in, the container for the thing contained. That is a new story. » – Ursula K. Le Guin, « The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction » (1986)
When sci-fi feminist writer Ursula K. Le Guin uses the metaphor of the carrier bag to suggest alternative forms of storytelling, she proposes a reversal of standpoints to underline what universal narratives have left out. Instead of heroic exploits, she tells the stories of humans, less spectacular yet just as valuable,favouring the harvesting over the hunting, or the carrier bag over the spear. This symbolic shift of perspective is a good starting point for apprehending the work of artist Alfredo Aceto. Aceto’s exhibition Builders Supply features a space for multiple potentialities, like an unconventional toolbox or a wardrobe where the works reveal themselves as carriers of subversive and distorted messages.
The exhibition Builders Supply originates in DIY construction shops. Since 2015, the artist developed a fascination with related environments while renovating artist Paola Pivi's house in Alaska. A display of stereotypical masculinity and a supply site for artists, artisans, and tinkerers, these builders’ supply shops become sources of reflection and contemplation for Aceto.
Viewing the tools necessary for construction and destruction as aesthetic and signifying objects, Aceto suggests an interplay of ideas that leads the viewer to reconsider their supposed heteronormative undertones. And this is his preferred technique: subverting the object, detaching it from its primary function to expose a broader spectrum of meanings and symbologies. The metonymic tendency to transpose one word or image for another underpins much of the artist’s work. Hence, the exhibition becomes a sort of voluntary and intimate exposure like opening the door to one’s wardrobe revealing one’s favourite items but also the armours and the secrets.