Climbing mountains of refuse at the local dump, our miniature explorer is exhilarated by danger or treasure at every turn, seeking history in the terra firma of trash. Such is the life of tiny Carl Sagan, a scrappy marionette created by Recology artist-in-residence Matthew Gottschalk. The rule of the residency? Art must be comprised of 90 percent found materials. Photographer Jamil Hellu, whose unflinching portraits typically capture the inner life of humans, is confronted by acres of inanimate objects. The result is anything but lifeless: crisp, graphic assemblages of discarded toys float on vivid backgrounds of comic book colors. Student resident Claire Lynch, most comfortable working in wood, chooses instead shattered toilets, blown-out tires, and 35 pounds of broken mirror for her birds titled Judge, Opportunist, Pontificator, Narcissist, and Naiveté. But Gottschalk's marionette is surely most at home. Armed with a fireplace-poker harpoon, he uncovers evidence of this world's strange inhabitants, while Gottschalk films his progress, providing a suitable soundtrack composed on reconstituted and unworldly instruments.
Fri., May 23, 5-9 p.m.; Sat., May 24, 1-3 p.m.; Sun., May 25, 5-7 p.m., 2014