Aperture presents The Edge, a solo exhibition of photographs by Alexander Gronsky, the 2009 Aperture Portfolio Prize Winner.
Photographing areas of Moscow that are neither entirely urban nor rural, Alexander Gronsky reveals the ambiguous spaces in which city dwellers relax and find solace in nature. These are certainly not idyllic settings; the edge of the city looms in the background with its faint skyline and construction cranes, leaving the viewer ever aware that these natural settings exist within yet a vaster urban context. Both the man-made and wild spaces look quite abstract—not inhospitable, as much as unknowable and vast.
The people—figures, really—are detached even in their revelry. They interact with each other and with the land, but do not seem particularly connected. They’re not so much lonely or isolated, as singular. Snow would seem to unify the landscape and connect the figures, covering and abstracting every surface while obscuring the distinctions. Even so, here it serves more to highlight the perimeters of the figures—ducks appear as a group of individuals in the snow, rather than a flock. Such separation is emphasized again and again between the figures themselves, as well as between them and the environment they inhabit.