THE BRIDE

Permanent installation, Industries of the Blind, Brooklyn NY, curated by Art Connects New York.

Stepan “Stenka” Timofeyevich Razin, was a 17th century Cossack leader celebrated for leading a peasant revolt against the nobility and the Tsar's bureaucracy in Southern Russia. Considered a champion of the poor, he has inspired poems, novels and films. However, he is best known as the hero of an internationally popular folk song in which he drowns his wife. Accused by his men of being softened by love, newlywed Stenka Razin proves his bravery by throwing his nameless bride overboard into the Volga. The song has many translations and iterations, but the story remains the same. 


This is the version  of the song I learned as a child from "The Joy of Folk Songs":

Once a mighty Cossack hero took a princess for his bride.
And he sailed the river Volga, with his sweetheart by his side.
“Stenka Razin,” cried his comrades, “you have lost your fighting heart.
Love has weakened all your courage; you are from us set apart.”
At these words so harsh and taunting, Stenka Razin, strong and brave,
Threw his bride, his lovely princess, in the Volga’s storming rage.