Text and Photos by Katarina Hybenova
“She will be beautiful and become a super model,” said Pink Fairy floating around a baby cradle. “No! She will be way better off as a smart, computer savvy girl!” Blue Fairy pinched the Pink one. Baby Ashley sleeping in the cradle grunted, perhaps because of the fairies quarrelling, but kept on wandering in her baby dreams. “Awww…,” the fairies sat on the side of the cradle. They were looking at the sleeping baby, and in order to make a well-informed decision about the baby Ashley’s future, they proceeded to get high…. Nobody remembers how the night ended, nor what the Pink and the Blue Fairy agreed on, but when Ashley Zelinskie grew up, she was pretty as a top model, and html fluent. She decided to become an artist.
Nowadays, you can meet Ashley, most likely wearing heels, walking between the warehouses in Bushwick, to her studio and her second home The Active Space, the art space she runs. To my question “How does the stay in industrial Bushwick influences your life?” she answers that she’s back on being a vegetarian, pointing her finger to the stinky meat-packing factory across the street, but otherwise she’s doing great. She likes being away from people, having some quiet time to think about her art projects.
When I met Ashley for the first time, she pulled out a plastic bag with 2 frozen birds from a freezer in her studio. “Aren’t they beautiful?” she smiled with sparks in her eyes. Ashley used to make glass coffins for dead birds that she laboriously collected from befriended zoos. She would hermetically seal the glass, and as the birds started to decompose, the chemical process consumed all the oxygen, result of which was a preserved beautiful corps of a colorful bird. Looking just like alive.
“But why?” I made a peep, demanding an explanation. “It’s inspired by Buddhism. They make little children meditate on dead birds, so that they realize that this life is temporary. And as the children grow, they meditate on bigger dead animals. God, how I wish I had a flamingo. ” Ashley said dreamily. “But at the zoo, they thought I was a creep….” she pressed her lips bitterly just like someone who had to found out on her own that it takes time for the world to catch up.
Lately, Ashley has been converged back to the great Virtual Reality, and has been using Internet as a creative tool browsing popular forums and collecting interesting stuff.
Another of her planned artistic ventures is called Reversed Abstraction Sculpture. Ashley plans to construct an object out of hexadecimal in 3D using a build-at-home makerbot kit to construct a 3d printer and print her sculpture.
Ashley and I are took a walk through industrial Bushwick, admiring heavy machinery, while workers didn’t even try to hide their excitement about a tall blond girl. Aerial cranes, trucks, mechanical carts, boxes full of Chinese plastic toys, a notice not to park your car there, because HBO will be filming some rape scenes in the area….