Matteo Silverio, Erica Villa (SGVCE)
ELEMENTS is an interactive exhibition organized by Science Gallery Venice to celebrate the 150th year since the creation of the periodic table of elements. The anniversary was an opportunity for the Ca' Foscari University of Venice to tell the general public and schools of all levels, with workshops and labs, what chemical elements are, when and how they were discovered and what use can be made of them. And it is precisely the use by man that constituted the focus of ELEMENTS, on the one hand the elements are necessary for our everyday lives and for our health, on the other hand they can have a devastating impact on the planet and humanity as a whole.
We are normally used to dividing chemical elements into good and bad according to the implications we know: oxygen allows us to breathe and therefore it is good, uranium is radioactive and therefore it is bad. The pop up exhibition got to the heart of “pop elements” that are present in movies, comics and literature, of precious elements, vital, lethal and hi-tech ones and finally pointed the spotlight on four elements we deal with everyday some of which are potentially dangerous and others will decree which nation will, in the future, be the master of the world: chlorine, phosphorus, cadmium and cobalt.