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Stepping delicately through a cryptic union at Samuel Freeman

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Andrew Cameron, Emilie Halpern collaborate in the spare 'Standard Candles' at Samuel Freeman

The press release for "Standard Candles," a cooperative if not quite collaborative show by Andrew Cameron and Emilie Halpern, is spare, cryptic and precious, like the show itself.

One passage is particularly telling of the show's tone, and rings true to the experience of it: "There will be a sculpture that looks like this and a photograph that looks like that. Of course, the look is an excuse for the looking."

Halpern has scattered the gallery floor and courtyard at Samuel Freeman with roughly 350 hollowed emu eggs, avocado-like capsules of latency that roll about in the breeze, colliding with delicate clicks.

There are so many that one has to tread carefully to avoid them; they function as little speed bumps, slowing the pace of passage through the show, which otherwise would not sustain long attention.

Cameron contributes several C-stands, common equipment in film and photo shoots, which hold whisper-slight images. One stand suspends a tree branch wrapped in iridescent chiffon, a poetic gesture evoking the post-diluvial. Cameron has also affixed to a slab of drywall a small colored pencil drawing of a pair of towels, hanging sideways, which he has tenderly titled "Husbands."

Halpern bathes the gallery space in the sound of surf with her looping recording, "Atlantic Pacific." The allusion to locale and spatial orientation is reinforced by a slender column of joined copper lightning rods that she hangs from the ceiling like an arrow pointing downward, to the here and now -- to the floor littered with eggs, to the slowness they prompt and the possibility they suggest, even if not fulfilled here or now.

Samuel Freeman, 2639 S. La Cienega Blvd., (310) 425-8601, through Aug. 23. Closed Sunday and Monday. www.samuelfreeman.com

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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