A costume designer is not just a film industry professional who gives a movie its historical and cultural credibility. A costume designer is an artist first of all.
When I went to see the exhibition “One minute on a way” by Olga Pogodina, artist and costume designer, my intention was to see her art. To be honest, I was less interested about what movies she was working for, but most of all I wanted to see her style in the fine art.
The name of the exhibition (“One minute on a way”) is where I started my approach to the graphic works of Olga Pogodina.
“One minute on a way” is a line from a poem written by Innokenty Annensky, a Russian poet from the Silver Age of Russian poetry (the last decade of 19th century and first two or three decades of the 20th century). I couldn’t find an English translation of this beautiful poem, so… I translated it from Russian into English:
What’s happiness? A smoke of sensless phrases?
One minute on a way
Where whispering “I’m sorry” melds
With passionate kisses?
Or is it in the autumn’s rain?
In days’ beginnings? Or in the closing eyes?
In goods we don’t appreciate
Because of goods’ unsightly garments?
You’re saying… It’s the wing of happiness
Which struggles clinging to a bloom.
But just a blink – and now it’s gone,
So inrecoverably bright.
Perhaps, above all other things
The perkiness of senses is what the heart wants,
The agony if there’s a subtle bane of memories.
I haven’t been at the opening of the exhibition and haven’t heard Olga Pogodina explane why she chose “One minute on a way” for her exhibition. But to me it was all about people as movie characters, their understanding of happiness and their place in history and time, and of course the art as an indicator of those characters’ happiness.
And most of all, it’s about lines, strokes, colors, light hints and touches which Olga Pogodina put on paper to reveal “what’s happiness” to each single character.