PRUSSIAN BRIDE (2009-2012)

"Mariya Kozhanova’s project Prussian Bride refers to the old northern part of Germany whose capital was Königsberg, now the city of Kaliningrad and part of Russia since World War II. For Germans living in the nineteenth century, this part of Prussia was an ancient region filled with mysticism and legends from the past. For the young Russian artist who was born and still lives there, there is a strong feeling for the native roots of the region. These roots are closely connected to the land. The land itself is still imbued with the memories of Germanica, the name of the ancient and legendary Germany. These feelings still flow through the forests of the former lands of Prussia.

The original Prussian legend talks about a dead bride in ancient times whose tomb was opened and it was discovered that she had disappeared. The Prussian Bride is a kind of film or literary narrative about a girl’s dream of an old house within an ancient estate in the forests. The month of May is the time when nature awakes again and is reborn. It is the time of the ancient legends and the folk celebrations of the “May Bride”. In her re-telling of the legend of the May Bride, Kozhanova incorporates Prussian culture in the blond beauty of the girls, the old style of the dresses they wear and the architecture of the house itself."

by Irina Chmyreva