In lieu of conclusion: cardio-pedagogy in Derrida and White God

Turner, Lynn. 2019. 'In lieu of conclusion: cardio-pedagogy in Derrida and White God'. In: Tahiti 8: National Conference of Art History in Finland From Material to Immaterial: Art Historical Practices in the Contemporary World. University of Turku, Finland 27-29 November 2019. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract or Description

Through the lens of Kornél Mundruczó’s 2015 film White God, this paper addresses you. Frontally a film about a canine uprising or even revolution in the streets of a eugenically-charged Budapest, the film allows – demands – that we take account of every theatre, stage, auditorium, courtyard and arena as one of an autopsic architecture, an inspectacular attempt to calculate finitude by means of the death of the other. It generates and, I will argue, dismantles, our familiar understanding of law as lex talionis, as vengeance, as the calculative exchange of an eye for an eye. In so doing – and in place of conclusion – the film appeals to justice to come. To make this legible the paper proposes that we follow the intimate proximity in Derrida’s work between the poetic, the ethical and the political. Building upon his deconstruction of the conceptual distinction between ‘the human’ and ‘the animal’ and the death sentence that such a distinction licenses, I draw in particular on Derrida’s work on poetics and the death penalty. With blood, the heart and the heartbeat in common, reading White God together with Derrida generates what I name a cardiopedagogy, a learning by heart.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Keynote)

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Visual Cultures


28 November 2019Published
30 September 2019Accepted

Event Location:

University of Turku, Finland

Date range:

27-29 November 2019

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

23 Oct 2019 15:56

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 17:19


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