2000 Of What ?
I never thought that I should justify my fascination
with the arrival of the year 2000. It was only after
I started discussing F.O.R (a show in Athens, strongly
connected with the Millennium), that my Greek gallerist
and close friend, Rebecca Camhi, accused me of having
childish ideas and giving importance to facts that are
According to Rebecca, these are “Preconceptions which
other people have established,” they are “ideas based
on dates that will change nothing to my own destiny
and if they were to change something, then in the same
way other dates will also,” so what’s with all the big
buzz over the “2 with the 3 zeros”?
“Children don’t care about the year 2000” I said to
Rebecca but then I had a ?ashback.
I was very young, probably eight years old, when I
start thinking that 2000 will soon arrive. Somehow,
2000 was a promise for me because I had no inspirations.
Imagine a young boy who tries to visualize himself as
something and sees nothing. There were no lifestyle
models those years in Greece, just weak/confused parents,
public schools with idiotic professors, no modern books
or magazines, no personal computers; only attention
de?cit disorder and the misleading surrounding of a
country famous for its white marbles. (Later, I learned
that these marbles were colored in the original.)
One thing that I knew for sure was the date of my birth,
1964. I made some arbitrary calculations, 1+9=10; 6+4=10.
That gives 1010, which is two. I decided that in the
year 2000 I would restart myself, become something interesting.
Was Rebecca right then? Is it 2000 just a personal fantasy,
Let’s take it from the start. 2000 years of what? Is
2000 the age of an idea (the Christian spirit), of a
punishment (2 thieves cruci?ed), of a mistake (Jesus
on the Cross)? In terms or Art, 2000 years is the age
of a successful performance that we still emulate. (We
repeat the representation of Jesus’ birth, death and
resurrection every year).
And so what? Rebecca would ask. Even if the Year 0001
introduced this successful drama with a happy end -
because Jesus is suppose to come back in some point
and Save everybody, why 2000 should be more a more glamorous
year than -say- the year 1355?
Well, 2000 is Glamorous. The word Glamour goes back
to the early days of Christianity. In those days, when
missionaries were visiting England (a wild country then)
they would read the Holy Scriptures to the native Barbarians
to teach them the doctrines of the Faith. These Barbarians-
who haven’t ever seen any written words or books, or
for that matter, the heavily decorated clothes that
the Christians were wearing- would literally fall to
the ground by the Glam (lighting) of all those things.
That’s how Christians took the old power of the Greek
Logos and combined it with the technology of books,
images, clothing, and music. Glamour was the very essence
of the Christian spirit in those ages (Jesus on the
cover of Vogue every month!).
Y2K is like the cartoon of a date, its apparently
promising adventures and catastrophes, but in the reality
will be just another Saturday. Nothing in particular
will happen, but the date itself has Glamour and many
new barbarians may fall on the ground again.There is
a special power in the year 2000 and that is the power
of evocation. In a passive World this means nothing,
in an active World thought, it’s important.
Miltos Manetas 1999, written for Made in USA # 0