Essay in Paprika! Journal: Canon, vol.5 no.5, edited by Dina Taha and Priyanka Seth, (2018). Theodossis Issaias.
The building is not a modernist housing block a la manière de international style. It is a meditation on modernity in Greece, a country poor and dependent, living through the traumas of a civil war; a periphery anticipating development to bring a glorious future and a present always under construction. But the scaffoldings and voids stand complete and unassuming. Vassilikioti turned developmentalism on its head; she turned anticipation into concrete.
It is the soup du jour of architectural criticism to grant legitimacy to works from multiple peripheries by alluding to their synchronicity and affinity with celebrated works from the center. Itinerant and anxious, but mostly righteous historians travel to places hitherto unknown to them and discover works -buildings, drawings, zines. To them are the operative words here. Trans-national, multi-national, supra-national, inter-national, para-national networks and spheres of influence are being revealed and seamlessly everything falls back into its place in our established hierarchy of knowledge. They expand the canon, or so they say. This-that-looks-like-that. She-who-studied-there. He-who-learned-from-him. Monsters from the past creep up again; cigar-smoking architects, the master builders who erected cities and penetrated landscapes and produced seminal works of Architecture –always with capital A. I don’t want your canon, your old or new.