Mental Firewoods

series of sculptures

2015 –  2017

The project Mental Firewood was based on research in the field of mental geography and Siberian identity. In this region with a severe climate, warmth is worshiped as a mythological resource. The material for Mental Firewood was chosen with this in mind. Cold bronze and marble were rejected in favour of archaic wood. Mental Firewood became the metaphorical source of artistic heat that can literally be used as firewood. The exhibition includes graphic art, wood objects, and sculptures created out of old planks and presented as zoomorphic totems. In his graphic works, Alexey Martins represents common Siberian landscapes uninhabited for many miles around. Empty white space is the main tool used by Martins to emphasize the idea of a desperate Siberia. Human characters appear in the drawings to indicate scale. Tiny figures of Nordic explorers help us to understand how huge and abandoned Siberia is.