This rather disturbing linocut is from a series of 21 by Bill Woodrow, each one of which is based upon a chapter from Primo Levi’s acclaimed book, The Periodic Table, first published in 1975. Levi’s semi-autobiographical work draws upon his experiences as a chemist imprisoned in Auschwitz in 1943. Each chapter refers to an element in The Periodic Table, relating the properties of the elements to Fascist ideology. This particular one – Argon – refers to the destruction of a Jewish voice. Levi’s text provides the formal structure for Woodrow’s visual narrative. Each print is identified by the chemical name of the element and refers to key details within the text.
The portfolio is part the permanent collection of the South London Gallery a few minutes away on the 345 bus from just outside the police station.