Kelly Akashi, Finger Figure (detail), 2016, bronze, copper, brass, anodized aluminum wire, 28 × 28 × 44".

KELLY AKASHI titled her most recent solo show at Ghebaly Gallery in Los Angeles, in 2016, “Being as a Thing.” As names go, it was an especially good one. It posited existence itself as a thing, encouraging a reading of the sculptures contained therein—so many material skins out of which Akashi slithered—as harboring independent states of being, despite emphatic registrations of origin. Hands are surrogates and metonyms, extremities that preserve in bronze the friction ridge on a fingertip; an odd, talon-like nail; or plump pockets of skin elsewhere giving way to bone. At the entry, Akashi installed At Rest, 2016: two bronze hands, each dangling from a rope draped over a partition and counterbalanced on the other side by another disembodied hand tethered to the same taut line. Just farther inside, Finger Figure, 2016, multiplied the titular appendage, the crook of one

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