There comes a time in every artist's life when they look around their studio, home, parents' garage, or over-priced and inconvenient storage unit, and realize that their vast collection of found materials and unwieldy ephemera is no longer a source of inspiration but instead, an albatross and maybe even a sign of a hoarding problem. In their defense, both Shana Lutker and Jedediah Caesar make art that already focuses on the allure of the everyday and the urge to transform it into something that transcends its own mundane existence. In their hands, a kind of conceptual alchemy takes places wherein magazines, cardboard boxes, books, architectural models, and suchlike are stripped of their original purposes, and imbued with new functions for the mind as much as for the eye. Each manufactures and appropriates objects for sculpture-based installations, so they've each wound up owning a metric ton of random crap and that's where their joint exhibition Trap Door comes in. With the guidance of clutter-abatement consultants D3, who help pry loose the useless from the vice-grip of nostalgia, the artists have agreed to let some things go. At one point Caesar made several enormous molds of patches of earth, while Lutker has inexplicably retained a group of outdated pedestals and six years of the New York Times. This dead-end loot gets its artistic swansong, displayed in relational aesthetic works for two weeks on its way to the dustbin of art history. Human Resources, 410 Cottage Home, Chinatown. Fri. Dec. 2, 8-11 p.m.; exhibit runs Thurs.-Sat., noon-6 p.m., thru Dec. 8; free. 213-290-4752; humanresourcesla.com.
Fri., Dec. 2, 8-11 p.m.; Tuesdays-Saturdays, 12-6 p.m. Starts: Dec. 2. Continues through Dec. 8, 2011