Art, Dispossession, and Imaginations of Historical Justice
Thinking with the Works of Maria Eichhorn and Dilek Winchester
Drawing on the works of artists Maria Eichhorn (Berlin) and Dilek Winchester (Istanbul), this article focuses on artistic responses to the twin processes of violence and dispossession in Germany and the late Ottoman Empire and republican Turkey, respectively. Their artistic practices respond to what is irrecoverable in loss, in contrast to dominant discussions on material restitution as a process that always projects a reversibility of past injuries and that remains limited to the logic of possession. The article argues that these practices pose an aesthetic challenge to the conceptual frameworks within which both dispossession and restitution are usually understood. They produce forms of aesthetic redistribution that open paths to alternate ways of envisioning historical justice in transformative rather than recuperative terms.