The painting shows the amount or #Uranium235, which was placed on a table in Los Alamos in 1945 to exactly prove the estimated critical mass of the load that was packed into “Little Boy”, which was the prosaic name of the Bomb, which was dropped on #Hiroshima 75 years ago. In the background you see instruments and in the foreground the mechanism is visible, which could add tiny little pieces of the heavy metal to get the last one out again of the mass immediately, when it becomes hot and short before the radiation made the block shine blue. To us this experiment alone seems hair-rising. However how do we feel imagining, what happened during the explosion in Hiroshima Aug. 6, 1945?
Excerpt from my book “Vorsicht bei Fett”, Übersehenes bei Beuys, ConferencePoint Verlag, Hamburg und Berlin 2016
Among other issues, that were overseen in Beuys work, I reflected the lack of themes concerning the atomic threat and came to the conclusion that the use of some of the pieces of fat metaphorically represented the uranium and other nuclear fuels. For those who were educated in physics of conventional energy, the character of nuclear power was hard to understand. Also the scale of the nuclear industry was hard to imagine. For a German, born in 1921 it probably seemed absurd, that two factories of a scale that never was seen before were required (in Hanford and Oak Ridge) to get a spoonful of uraniumhydid in a concentration of 15 percent uranium235 per day. (To get an idea of the scale of work you have to realize, that for the construction of the plant in Hanford alone 45.000 workers had to be hired.)