December 9, 2010
One of my photographic interests is the borderland between nature and the urban environment; that space with its fraying edge on the borders of cities that is often considered banal because it is a wasteland. It is often a wasteland because it has yet to be developed through urban expansion. Or we have the wastelands within a city.
One photographer who explores this kind of space is the Moscow-based Estonian Alexander Gronsky. His series of large format photographs made on the outskirts of Moscow, "The Edge," spring from an interest in the idea of boundaries both literal and abstract.
Alexander Gronsky, Untitled, from the pastoral series
These wastelands within the city are neither entirely urban nor rural and often they are where city dwellers find solace in nature interact with, but do not seem connected to, nature. 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 a vaster urban context.
To create the images, Gronsky studies Google Maps to find swamps, woodlands and unbuilt areas and is interested in the interaction of human and natural environments, by the intersection of chaos and order. He enjoys the irony that development intended to impose order often does just the opposite. "The human habitat is a form of chaos interacting with the very strict order of nature.