OF SHOWING AND LOOKING
Although political action is often associated with decision-making
and rhetoric, it is by no means limited to the realm of speech.
The practice of politics also involves showing. Politics employs
forms of visualisation and presentation as means of appealing
to citizens to elicit certain feelings, create consensus or conflict,
and build support for specific political interests. Looking as
a political practice is the flipside of the political practice
of showing. Political presentation functions only when understood
by its spectators, and it therefore relies on figures, metaphors,
icons and perspectives with which those spectators are familiar.
Looking has its own political dimension that originates from and
is determined by hermeneutic preconceptions. Religious symbols
can play a crucial role in the political practices of showing
and looking, evidence of the enormous political potential of religious
language and aesthetics.