Thursday, May 25 • – 5
The main purpose of this lecture is to argue in favor of the biopolitical potential of art. The conceptual basis of this potential is rooted in Foucault’s insights on biopolitics and modern art, albeit the French philosopher never explicitly posited a direct connection between the two. Nonetheless, the focus here lies on the ability of contemporary cinema to offer a visual critique of biopolitics by exploring life itself and examining the influence that historical power regimes, knowledge systems, and processes of subjectification have on shaping binational and transnational identities for individuals, such as that of the Jewish identity, which evolved as a complex puzzle of Israeli and Palestinian coordinates.
This paper supports the existence of a biopolitical potential of art within Udi Aloni’s cinematic portfolio, with a particular emphasis on the films Local Angel and Forgiveness. By examining the influences of Spinoza and Benjamin’s modern philosophical ideas on Aloni’s movies—as well as Žižek’s and Badiou’s critiques of the artist’s aesthetic trajectories—we aim to highlight the nature of biopolitical art, which can be encapsulated by the following core concepts: radical grace, topological gap, new identity, new place, forgiveness, normalization (of behavior), and normal life standards.
Oana Șerban (b. 1991) is a titular professor at the University of Bucharest, Romania, where she teaches Modern Philosophy, Aesthetics, and Biopolitics. Among other notable works, she is the author of Cultural Capital and Creative Communication and After Thomas Kuhn.