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 just calendary.
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, a chimera?

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