Vassiliki. The City of Crosses. Neoria, Hania
Eleni Athanassiou

“The point of view where he sees things from is a point from which this and that, yes and no, are not faced separately one from the other. This point of view is the Axis of Law, the immovable center of a periphery at the edge of which revolve all relativeness, distinctions and individualities and from there only Infinity is faced, which is neither this nor that, neither yes or no. Looking everything from within the unchangeable original unity or from such a distance so that everything is merging in one, this is genuine spirituality.”
Chuang Chou, I-Ching, chapter 2

Profoundly homocentric Vassiliki’s art signifies the continuation of a route dedicated to the mystery of Being through symbolism. In the devout environment of the City of Crosses the artist combines her artistic proposal with the everlasting concern of inner balance, and man’s position in the universal whole.
The relations among the crosses give a new substance to the interaction between the microcosm (man) and macrocosm (universe). Their opposite directions, course and trends form the three-dimensional substance of the City’s environment, a system of co-ordinates within the space.
Space, the accumulation of man’s potentialities and of those of the universe is defined by the vertical and horizontal axes-in comparison with the surrounding environment as well as among them-which adopt opposite directions: North and South, East and West, Zenith and Nadir, left and right.
Their behaviour confirms the validity of the Platonic theory of “correspondences” with regard to the elements of subconscience and those of conscience as well as those of the macrocosm and the microcosm, which became popular again in the philosophical writings of the 19th century theosophist, and influenced the art of symbolists radically.
The crossing of the vertical with the horizontal arms, the meeting point of opposite directions, and the origins of absolute and irreversible Truth impels the artist to use the cross as the ultimate point of artistic expression. In her art the center of the cross represents reconciliation, withering of conflicts, cooperation of all powers that compete with each other forming a new data which is ultimately going to be replaced by a new synthesis.

In the center of immutable unity and truth lies the absolutely balanced individual, an outcome of a process of differentiation, opposition and struggle against the enemies within himself, that is, those powers which oppose his internal balance and unity. The aim of this struggle is reconciliation rather than annihilation.
Man’s ultimate goal, as it is expressed through the dynamics of the crosses is the struggle which aims at accomplishing the unity of all conflicting powers: unity of thought, unity of action and unity of thought and action. The attainment of inner unity is only achieved by the individual who overpowers any relativeness, and it represents absolute balance and truth, his final redemption.
In the City of Crosses the reality of a dream or a symbol is expressed indirectly through a mixture of materials, shapes and proportions, out of which emerges the final revelation; a revelation of the breadth and the depth of the soul itself which signals the beginning of its redemption.
Vassiliki’s symbolism forms an artistic dogma which borrows from religion but is purposely differentiated from the mystery of religious fear and dogma. The City implies that it is the outcome of the experience deriving from the dominant element of the human world, the continuous change of the Hegelian dialectic of thesis, antithesis, synthesis.
Paul Gaugin, one of the forerunners of symbolism, was an advocate of the idea that art is a notion of an abstract content formed in connection with functions of the subconscience with an emphasis on the process of creation rather than the final result.
According to that, the City of Crosses represents a synthetic process of the subject with the idea and geometry with materials aiming at activating emotions, and at awaking the issue of existence. Based on emotion and instict rather than logic or any intellectual function, the environment of the City of Crosses is an everlasting proposal for self-exploration which leads to a redefinition of our priorities through its directness.
Eleni Athanassiou
Art Historian/Curator