With our recent announcement of Russian alternative model, Parket, as our 2016 DarkestGoth Girl (the first global Spokesmodel we’ve had since 2013’s Leslie Fenix), we had the chance to sit down and chat with her about who she is, what her passions are, and what she’s recently begun exploring!
You’ve been a delight to work with and get to know over the past few months, Parket. Now, unlike most modeling or stage names, I understand Parket is a nickname that you have in everyday life. Tell us about where you got the nickname and what it means?
In fact, this nickname doesn’t mean anything, at least, now. I created it when I was a schoolgirl; it was some kind of a joke. Now I just don’t want to change my nickname!
Tell us a bit about where you grew up? Any fun stories from that time of your life?
I was born near the city of Krasnodar here in Russia. Now that I’m 24, I think that my childhood was boring. I spent almost all my time studying and, for enjoyment, reading books. (Actually, I still like to do this!)
While there are some differences in how we refer to education levels between our countries, you have what we would call a Master’s Degree in Philology. From the little I know, Philology is to modern literature what archaeology is to modern science; both explore the groundwork and history of what has come before. But obviously that barely scratches the surface. Tell our readers about what philology is to you?
I suppose that Philology is a state of mind; a life in the great world of words and images. Personally I love literature and like to write, which is why Philology became my passion. I love teaching, as well, and have done some teaching. I also do guest lectures from time to time.
And you also were the editor-in-chief for the Russian industrial music magazine, ZRDE. Tell us about how that came about?
I got into Industrial dance when I was younger, and really liked the Cyber Gothic style–which is not so popular in our country as it is in yours. So, when an acquaintance asked me to help him and some friends make the Industrial Magazine, ZRDE, I agreed. My goal was to just write articles and send my photos, but, suddenly, most of the team stopped doing anything. They didn’t care about the magazine, so I had to become a designer, an editor and an author. It was difficult, but we published the first issue, but were down to just two people left by the time it came out. I became the editor-in-chief, changed the design, and made 4 more issues. Finally, I realized that I just couldn’t do so much work with so little help. Our readership was also very small, so that’s why I decided to leave the project, and it was closed.
When you’re not doing delving into historical languages or music, I understand you like to write short stories. What types of subjects do you do?
I do write stories. (Although not as often as I would like.) They are designed to be very disquieting, sometimes tragically so or sometimes frighteningly so. There is symbolism hidden within the ancient literature I love and my stories help me give voice to my creativity, sharing the the self-determination and death found in the work that inspires me.
What’s the premise of one of your favorite stories you’ve written?
One of the stories I’m most proud of is is, ‘The Curse.’ The premise is the idea that a writer’s talent is the curse. The author suffers and his muse tortures him. (There are some autobiographical moments in this story, of course.)
What authors have inspired you as a writer yourself?
While, as a reader, I prefer Leonid Andreev, Franz Kafka, Edgar Allan Poe, Vladimir Nabokov, and Michael Bulgakov, I don’t really think that my favorite writers inspire me to make my own stories. (Actually, I don’t know why I started to write.)
Very few of us creative sorts really know why we create, so I understand. Are there any other hobbies you’ve gotten involved in recently?
A few months ago I started to shoot dance videos with a plot. It was my friend’s idea, and now we have a team, which makes short movies with DIY sensibilities (even hand-making some of the things we use in the videos). I hope that my works will prove interesting.
Very cool. I included a video for our readers to see here, and we’ll be sure to link your playlist of videos to the official DarkestGoth YouTube page! With many of the things you’re involved in, there seems to be a musical component involved. How important is music to your creative process?
Music is very important, as it drew me into the Industrial dance scene and, obviously, is a major component of my dance videos. Music continues to inspire me, especially to visit industrial and alternative festivals like Amphi.
One of the many festivals I’ve thought would be wonderful to experience but haven’t yet had a chance to try for myself.
I’ve rarely seen a model who’s explored as elaborate and visually evocative a style as you have. What drew you into this type of modeling?
I don’t suppose that I’m interested in a career in modeling per se–at least, not the way regular culture thinks of modeling (ie fashion and glam). With that said, I might be willing to work in an alternative model agency, but even then, the images I am most excited about are from my hobby–and that will never change. My passion is to show different stories in photos. The plot, the idea are the main things for me; I don’t just want to stand in cool clothes and accessories. I like to make something really interesting. Obviously, most of these tales are dark, gothic and horror inspired.
As a filmmaker myself, I have to say that you and your photographers’ choices to focus on storytelling imagery has created some of the most incredible and breathtaking single images I’ve seen. Your Ophelia set is incredibly poetic, while the ninja based sets looked like they could adorn the next Mortal Kombat game! Tell us about some of the incredible photographers who’ve helped bring these tales to life.
Most often I work with the amazing Andrew Rezun. We met two years ago and since that time have been creating fantastic photos together. He’s a professional photographer who lives in the same area of Russia as I do. Since last year, I’ve also begun working with Nikolay Krauz, who also makes cool dark photos.
What’s one of your favorite shoots that you’ve done so far?
Oh, that’s hard to say, because each of my favorite categories has a favorite. My favorite frightening shoot was made by Andrew Rezun–it was a horror photo session in a bathroom. My favorite dark photo was made by Yaroslava Schneider, who created the image of me as a witch breaking out of a a spider-web. My favorite shoot in historical dress belongs to Nikolay Krauz–where I was in the baroque dress and mask, spinning, while he shot me from above. My favorite cosplay photo was made by Andrew Rezun, with me set in the world of Warhammer 40000 (Daemon host). Finally, my favorite Cyber Gothic shoot is my portrait by Yana Batkova, where I’m in the gasmask with the blue wig.
My relatives think that I look like a teen. They hope that I will grow up and will choose the “normal” way of a life. My boyfriend accepts me as I am and is interested in the same things I am. Those who don’t know me, tell others that I make them afraid. I don’t really care about it, though.
Ophelia Overdose. She is constantly changing herself, to incredible result.
What photographers have you not yet worked with that you would love to work with?
While I’d like to work with Marat Safin I will be glad to work with any talented photographer.
You have a number of battle based shoots that you’ve done. Do you have any military training?
No. It’s actually just contingent on the story I’m telling that some of my photos are battle based. ( I’m actually not a fan of military computer games or war movies. In fact, I actually can’t shoot.
No worries. Your secret’s safe with our readers!
Speaking of secrets, is there something no one knows about you that you’d like to share with our readers as a “taxi cab” confession?
Well very few, aside from my closest friends, know that I’m actually a very modest and shy person. I don’t like conflicts and often prefer to stay at home.
I (and many of our readers) can certainly relate to that! What do you suppose outsiders might find most surprising to learn about Krasnodar?
In Krasnodar, alternative subculture is not as popular as it is in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Novosibirsk. We don’t have unified groups, rather, more often, people act separately and informally. However, we have great concerts–soon we’ll be having concerts by Septic Flesh, Lacrimosa, Apocalyptica, and HIM–as well as some awesome parties. I personally started organizing Victorian Picnics, and now take part in making a horror photo exhibition. As a member of a historical dance, I take part in classical balls, like the Halloween ball right before I was announced as Spokesmodel.
Thank you so much for your time today, Parket. We look forward to showing many new galleries of your work to our audience and allowing them to read your insights into the fascinating literary world you inhabit!
If you’d like the check out Parket’s images, you can check out her galleries here at DGM or on her Facebook page. If you’d like to see some more photography from her visual collaborators, check out the pages for Andrew Rezun, Nikolay Kraus, Yaroslava Schneider, or Yana Batkova.