Seductive Piety: Faith and Fashion through Lipovetsky and Heidegger

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Martin Heidegger broadened the meaning of art to a truth-disclosing event akin to seemingly disparate events such as the founding of a political state, Jesus’s sacrifice for all humankind, and the questioning of a philosopher. Art makes us pay attention to it by presenting the familiar in a new and unfamiliar context and unsettles our presuppositions and reconceptualizes our way of thinking. I begin by explicating the Heideggerian interpretation of the nature of art by looking at the key concepts that make a work of art work. Then I argue that by themselves, the concept of veiling and the concept of fashion are very familiar concepts to Indonesians, but that the practice of combining these two ideas brings something unfamiliar to that society. This new practice reveals a way of Being that combines religious piety with our current, late-modern, consumer society. The combination of fashion and veiling for piety discloses, in the Heideggerian sense, a new “world” that undermines secular and fundamentalist narratives about the religious agent while still remaining an authentic Indonesian art piece.
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