The project was born after a visit to the uranium mine at the Curie Gallery in the Terme di Lurisia. The exploration of this place was done with the physicist Luca Gentile, discovering a unique environment where geological time, water, and uranium merge into an alchemical dimension with magical charm.
“The mind remains stunned by looking so far into the abyss.” The words of mathematician John Playfair are useful in conveying the feeling of astonishment and overwhelm that the artist experienced while visiting the uranium mine in Bisalta. Discovered by chance in 1912 by geology student Pia Bassi, it would later become the subject of studies on radioactivity, nuclear energy, and the therapeutic properties of the source that flows within. Marie Curie, a renowned scientist and Nobel Prize winner for the discovery of Radium, certified the healing qualities of the radioactivity in its waters.
Through a narrow path carved into the mountain, in which the human body and the geological body are in constant relationship; immersed in a space in which time seems to have stopped; enveloped by rock walls that under Wood’s light reveal a fluorescent constellation of microparticles of uranium set in the rock, Fabio Marullo perceived all the “primordial” energy hidden in matter.
Uranium, a heavy metal with radioactive properties, was discovered as the first naturally occurring fissile element that reacts with water to acquire stability. It is an essential material for radiometric dating of fossils and the main source of heat that keeps the Earth’s core and mantle liquid. Uranium’s properties bring us back to the beginning of existence. It is a volatile substance with chemical composition that ironically contains the instability that humans should never forget or underestimate as they measure against nature and its resources.
The works that make up the narrative of “Non sono lucciole, ma uranio” condense the material dimension and visual suggestions perceived in the uranium mine.
In the first environment, the artist exhibits a sculpture made with mica powder mixed with a yellow oxide, evoking the “Yellowcake,” the final product of the concentration and purification processes of extracted minerals containing uranium.
In the second environment, two spherical sculptures made of blown glass containing water with fluorescein are placed on two pedestals, creating an oxymoronic contrast between the fragility of the container and the potential danger of its content. Finally, an oil diptych on linen, a small gateway to the natural world.